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IFC Trade Finance Program Doubles Coverage in 2007, Boosts Access to Finance for SMEs in Challenging Markets


IFC contact in Washington, D.C.:
Lotte Pang

IFC Communications Officer

Phone: +1 202 758 4290

E-mail:
lpang@ifc.org


Washington D.C., January 15, 2008—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced that in 2007 its Global Trade Finance Program doubled the volume of guarantees issued and the number of participating banks and countries covered. The continued growth is boosting access to trade finance for entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises in some of the world’s most challenging markets.

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

In 2007, the dollar amount of guarantees IFC issued under the program reached $1.15 billion, representing 787 guarantees that cover 1,500 underlying transactions. Half of the guarantees supported trade with banks in Sub-Saharan Africa, and a third comprised trade between emerging markets, or “South-South” trade. Banks in many challenging markets joined the program, including in Afghanistan, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Haiti, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Syria, Tajikistan, and Yemen. Today, IFC provides risk coverage for 96 banks across 53 countries.

Georgina Baker, IFC Director in Global Financial Markets, said, “We are delighted with the progress of the IFC Global Trade Finance Program in 2007. The growing volumes and expansion into more of the underserved markets indicate that we are enabling trade in areas where it would otherwise be constrained, while helping partner banks support their SME clients.”

Trade transactions supported by guarantees issued in 2007 included exports of traffic signal equipment from Thailand to Cambodia, rubber processing equipment from Malaysia to Liberia, tractors from China to Mongolia, ceramic tiles from Turkey to Azerbaijan, and pharmaceuticals from India to Yemen.


IFC also offers trade training courses as part of the program. Last year, 13 courses reached 130 bankers from 25 countries, predominantly in Africa. Banks in Liberia and Sierra Leone benefited from having onsite resident advisors.

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 syndications and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.