The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) has signed a US$15mn facility with Uzbekistan’s Invest Finance Bank (InFinBank) to provide trade finance facilities to its private sector clients.

The agreement is designed to support “the import and pre-export financing needs” of the Uzbek lender’s clients, including small and medium enterprises, and boost its sharia-compliant trade finance offering, according to a joint statement.

An ITFC spokesperson tells GTR the murabaha facility has a tenor of one year. It is the first deal between the bank and the ITFC.

“This new partnership with InFinBank highlights our commitment to position the private sector at the heart of our work for the advancement of trade and post-Covid-19 economic recovery of our member countries,” says ITFC’s general manager for trade finance Abdihamid Aweis Abu, who signed the agreement for the multilateral development bank (MDB).

“We look forward to building an impactful partnership with InFinBank that will help us contribute to Uzbekistan’s growing economy. This is the first of many and we are poised to do more for the private sector as they hold the key to economic recovery.”

Uzbekistan joined the ITFC in 2019 and since then the multilateral development bank has supported 17 trade finance lines worth US$166mn.

Late that year the ITFC made its first sovereign deal with the Central Asian country, lending US$50mn to a state fund to provide financing for cotton farmers to purchase fertiliser and petrol.