Press Releases

IFC Provides $202 Million in Trade Support to Pakistan, Boosting Several Key Sectors

In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa

Phone: +202 24 619 140
Fax: +202 24 619 145


Islamabad, Pakistan, February 10, 2010—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced today that over the past six months it provided Pakistani banks with $202 million (over 17 billion PKR) in trade finance guarantees, helping Pakistan increase cross-border trade, benefiting many of its important business sectors.

Thanks to support from IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program, Pakistani banks executed trade transactions worth roughly $202 million between July and December 2009, an almost 80 percent increase from the same time period in the previous year. Since the inception of the program in 2006, IFC has executed trade finance transactions of about $537 million in Pakistan.

Pakistan received the largest amount of trade finance support for this time period from IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program, followed by Lebanon which executed trade transactions worth over $44 million.

K. Aftab Ahmed, IFC's Regional Manager for Global Financial Markets, said: “IFC has greatly increased its investments and trade finance activity in the past year. Pakistan was the second highest recipient of IFC trade finance support in the world after Brazil in the last half of 2009. IFC is currently supporting 11 issuing banks in Pakistan that are vital to ensuring the sustainability of cross border trade."

Sectors and products in Pakistan that benefited from this support include:

       Fertilizer and agricultural goods

       Iron and steel

       Plastics and chemicals


IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program extends and complements the capacity of banks to deliver trade financing by providing risk mitigation in new or challenging market conditions where trade lines might be constrained. Trade guarantees have become especially important during the recent global economic turbulence, helping to maintain market confidence and to keep trade flowing.  

IFC trade finance activity in the rest of the Middle East and North Africa region also continues to grow. IFC has provided almost $1.5 million in trade finance support to Afghanistan International Bank, which in July, 2009 became the first bank in Afghanistan to join IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program.

IFC is the only international financial institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable development in emerging markets. Along with IBRD, it is currently seeking a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity for the poor in developing countries—including by supporting increased trade flows in the Middle East and North Africa.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit