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IFC Helps Train Bankers in Lebanon to Increase Trade Finance


In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa
Phone: +202 24 619 140
Fax: +202 24 619 145
E-mail:
RMustafa@ifc.org


Beirut, Lebanon, April 19, 2010—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping train bankers in Lebanon to better understand and finance international trade transactions, which could help Lebanese banks better serve local small-business clients and lead to increased trade with other countries and regions.

In cooperation with the Training and Development Department of Banque du Liban (BdL), IFC conducted a two-day workshop in Beirut for more than 35 banking professionals, including members of BdL. The workshop provided intermediate and advanced  training on structuring trade-finance transactions, managing trade finance risk, and increasing trade-finance product offerings.

Mohamad Jabri, Banque du Liban’s Training and Development Department Director, said, “This trade workshop will  provide participants with the tools needed to understand and analyze customers’ trade finance needs, so they can provide trade finance solutions and in turn generate continuing lines of income for their respective banks."

Thomas Jacobs, IFC Senior Country Officer in Lebanon, said, "Trade is an essential part of the Lebanese economy, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises which represent the vast majority of Lebanese firms. With this training program, we are assisting Lebanese banks to develop more advanced trade products and better manage risks so they can continue to be competitive and support Lebanese firms."

The training was provided by Vincent O’Brien, International Chamber of Commerce Representative to the World Trade Organization and an international expert in trade finance. The event was made possible through IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program, a $3 billion program aimed at expanding trade flows between emerging markets.  

Launched in 2005, the IFC Global Trade Finance Program supports trade with emerging markets worldwide, seeking to increase developing countries’ share of trade and promote cross-border flows of goods and services.  The program has provided over $6.5 billion worth of guarantees to 177 issuing banks in 80 countries, and has held 77 training courses reaching 1,775 bankers in over 30 countries. Since 2006, IFC has guaranteed over $400 million in trade transactions for Lebanese banks, helping to strengthen regional economic integration.  

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
www.ifc.org.