Beirut, Lebanon, June 6, 2013—IFC,
member of the World Bank Group, signed a trade finance agreement today
with CreditBank, a fast-growing bank in Lebanon, to help its client companies
access global markets, boosting trade and spurring growth.
Under the agreement, IFC and CreditBank will help Lebanon-based firms access
import and export markets opening up new opportunities for growth and job
creation. This effort is part of IFC’s $5 billion Global Trade Finance
Program, which works with more than 265 partner banks worldwide. The program
offers banks partial or full guarantees, covering risks in transactions
where cross-border trade is constrained.
“This partnership with IFC will improve our standing in the local market
and help us provide a competitive range of banking services to our trading
clients,” said Tarek Khalife, Chairman and General Manager of CreditBank.
Trade finance plays a key role in facilitating cross-border trade as it
fills market gaps between importers and exporters by providing guarantees
to banks. CreditBank is one of the seven banks in Lebanon to join
IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program.
“Supporting trade is one of IFC’s top priorities in Lebanon, as it is
vital to economic integration within the region and with global markets,”
said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
For the past two years Lebanon has benefitted more than any other country
in the region from IFC trade finance commitments. Since the program’s
inception in 2006, IFC has provided guarantees to banks in Lebanon worth
almost $1.35 billion. This is part of IFC’s wider strategy, supporting
the private sector by providing a wide array of investment and advisory
services to facilitate trade, help smaller businesses access finance, and
empower women entrepreneurs.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing
countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing
capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services
to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time
high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector
to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing
development challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org