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.
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.