Press Releases

IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program Expands in Pakistan, Broadening Access to Trade Finance

in Washington D.C.:
Lotte Pang
Phone: +1 (202) 758 4290

in Cairo:
Riham Mustafa
Phone: +(202)461 9140 ext 306

Washington, D.C., September 20, 2007—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced that Pakistan’s Bank Alfalah has joined its Global Trade Finance Program as an issuing bank, boosting access to trade finance for entrepreneurs and businesses in Pakistan.

The Global Trade Finance Program promotes trade with emerging markets worldwide by supporting flows of goods and services to and from developing countries. Through the program, IFC provides guarantee coverage of bank risk in emerging markets, allowing recipients to expand their trade finance transactions within an extensive network of countries and banks and to enhance their trade finance coverage.

Sirajuddin Aziz, Chief Operating Officer, Bank Alfalah, said, “We are delighted to join the Global Trade Finance Program and build a strong relationship with IFC. Through the program, we will be able to enhance our trade product offering, extend our relationship with correspondent banks worldwide, and structure trade finance solutions to meet the needs of our clients, especially small and medium enterprises, helping them increase their business in new markets around the globe. The trade line will enhance Bank Alfalah’s credibility substantially through its association with a reliable and trustworthy partner of global stature and repute. This partnership should lead to augmented trade transactions and assistance in product expansion.”

Michael Essex, IFC Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said, “IFC’s partnership with Bank Alfalah demonstrates our commitment to expanding access to finance in Pakistan under the Global Trade Finance Program, with institutions supporting the country’s growing international trade flows and enhancing their ability to respond to the needs of their clients, especially small and medium enterprises.”

Priyamvada Singh, IFC’s trade specialist in the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia, said, “Bank Alfalah’s participation in the IFC Global Trade Finance Program will help expand the bank’s trade capacity with a wider network of correspondent banks, providing the flexibility to respond to the evolving global environment for Pakistan’s trade flows.”

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that poor people have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through loan participations and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information, visit

About Bank Alfalah
Bank Alfalah is the fifth-largest bank in Pakistan in terms of market share; the bank offers a range of banking services across corporate and consumer banking and has a network of nearly 200 branches, including 23 Islamic banking branches and six overseas divisions in Afghanistan, Bahrain, and Bangladesh, with many other overseas destinations being pursued.