Press Releases

IFC Trains Haitian Banks on Trade Finance to Improve Trade Flows

In Washington, D.C.
Adriana Gomez
Phone: + 1 202 458 5204


Port au Prince, Haiti, July 29, 2010—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is training  Haitian banks on ways to mitigate risks associated with trade finance, which could help improve trade flows in the wake of Haiti’s devastating earthquake.

In cooperation with the government of Spain, IFC hosted a two-day  international trade seminar in July that brought together 42 participants from local banks, including Unibank, Sogebank, Capital Bank, Banque Nationale de Credit, and Banque de la Republique d'Hati, Haiti’s central bank.  Focus was on skills improvement and knowledge-building   for staff working in credit and risk management.

“Improving banks’ skills and efficiency in trade finance operations will help more Haitian businesses to get connected to the global economy in these challenging times, said Ary Naim, IFC Head for Haiti and the Dominican Republic. “The trade finance training is part of IFC's integrated approach, providing investment and advisory services for the Haitian private sector to stimulate trade in Haiti and support the country’s recovery."

During the seminar, participants learned about structuring basic and complex trade finance transactions, improving risk mitigation techniques, and upgrading the operational and technical skills of trade finance back offices. The program also featured sessions on documentary credit, international sales contracts, trade finance rules and guarantee instruments, among others.

The training is part of IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program, which can help build relationships with corresponding banks outside of Haiti, expanding the international networks of Haitian banks and potentially leading to new business opportunities. The program also helps position Haitian banks in the international financial system.

Capital Bank in Haiti is an active participant of the IFC Global Trade Finance Program as an issuing bank. Through the IFC trade guarantee, Capital Bank has recently issued an Import Letter of Credit to support a Haitian importer. This was the first trade transaction of Capital Bank with IFC's support since the earthquake

The IFC Global Trade Finance Program supports trade with emerging markets worldwide by providing risk mitigation. Since launching the Global Trade Finance Program in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2006, IFC has issued $2.8 billion in guarantees to facilitate trade flows with the region. The network of issuing banks for the region has expanded to 51 banks in 19 countries. More than 48 percent of the guarantees issued benefited local small and midsize businesses and supported interregional trade flows between emerging market nations. In total, the program has issued $8.4 billion in guarantees worldwide, through a network of more than 420 participating banks. Latin America and the Caribbean has been the most active region for the past 2 years, representing nearly 35% of the global volume of the trade program. For more information about the program, contact Antonio Alves, Senior Regional Head of Trade Finance for Latin America and the Caribbean, at, or visit

IFC in Haiti

Since the earthquake, IFC approved a total of 7 projects for a total amount of US$45 million; 3 of these projects for US$14.3 million in the garments, hotels, and mining industries, are already under implementation, in addition to a major energy project approved prior to the quake. These investments are expected to create 4,000 new jobs and support an additional 1000. Furthermore the completion of an IFC advisory project in the telecommunications sector is bringing close to $100 million in investment from Vietnamese Viettel in the country’s fixed line operator Teleco. Other advisory activities are ongoing in the infrastructure, investment generation, training to small businesses, and access to finance areas.

IFC has invested $76 million in Haiti’s private sector since 2006, helping ensure access to finance for local firms and develop infrastructure.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives—by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and provide essential services, mobilizing capital from others, and delivering advisory and risk-management services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit