Press Releases

IFC Receives $1 Million Commitment from Switzerland to Promote Trade Advisory Initiative

In Washington, D.C.:
Julie Ziegler
Phone: (202) 473-0128

Washington, D.C., May 20, 2010—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has received a $1 million commitment from the Swiss State Secretariat of Economic Affairs to support IFC’s Trade Advisory Initiative and help improve trade finance in developing countries.

With SECO’s funding, IFC initially plans to offer training programs in Colombia, Peru, Egypt, Indonesia, Vietnam, Ghana, and South Africa.  The funding also will enable IFC to hold additional training programs on trade finance risk.  The Trade Advisory Initiative was launched in 2006 under IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program.

“The support from Switzerland is critical to expand the Trade Advisory Initiative in this post-crisis period,” said Georgina Baker, IFC Director for Global Financial Markets.  “Demand for the IFC Global Trade Finance Program, which has doubled in size since December 2008, has significantly increased.  The $1 million commitment from the Swiss State Secretariat of Economic Affairs will help IFC expand advisory operations in the regions where capacity building is needed.”  

The Trade Advisory Initiative helps local banks improve trade finance operations, reduce transaction costs, and provide a network of correspondent bank partners. The program has delivered more than 96 training courses in trade finance, reaching 2,073 bankers in more than 35 countries.  

“SECO is focused on the promotion of sustainable economic growth based on a market economy and on the integration of developing countries into the world economy,” said Thomas Knecht, SECO’s Deputy Head of the Private Sector Development Division.  “IFC’s mandate to promote trade by integrating developing countries into the international trade network fits our strategy, and SECO is delighted to join the IFC’s effort to build capacity of banks in emerging markets.”

The Global Trade Finance Program was created in 2005.  Since then, the program has provided more than $7.6 billion worth of guarantees to over 183 issuing banks in 82 countries. More than 84 percent of those guarantees are issued to small and medium enterprises.

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 capital for private enterprise, 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