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IFC Lays Foundations for Private Sector Growth in Iraq by Training Local Bankers


In Washington:
Ahmed Badawi-Malik

Phone: +1 (202) 458-7148

Fax:      +1 (202) 974-4384

Email:
Abadawi@ifc.org

In Cairo:

Ghada Teima

Phone:  + 20 2 579 5912

Fax:       + 20 2 579 6447

Email:
Gteima@ifc.org


WASHINGTON, D.C./CAIRO, June 10, 2004 — The Private Enterprise Partnership for the Middle-East (PEP-ME), a technical assistance program created, funded, and managed by the International Finance Corporation, ended a three-day training workshop today in Amman, Jordan, for 50 managers of – largely private - Iraqi banks.

IFC , the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, staged the workshop to introduce state-of-the-art banking practices in Iraq, where access has been highly constrained by its recent legacy of successive wars and international economic sanctions. The PEP-ME workshop is a first but crucial step in IFC’s strategy for Iraq of upgrading the technical and managerial capacity of the financial sector to reinvigorate private sector development and job creation.


The training program of the workshop was designed for senior managers of private-sector and public sector banks, including heads of risk management units, retail banking, marketing and auditing offices. The five modules of the PEP-ME workshop were delivered in Arabic, and addressed topics such as credit risk management, asset-liability management, strategic planning, foreign risk management and marketing.


Sami Haddad, IFC Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said “This is the first project in the region by PEP-ME. I am pleased that IFC is contributing to building the managerial and technical capacity of Iraqi banks by providing this training workshop.”


A training needs assessment session was carried out on the last day of the workshop by IFC to help identify the further training needs of Iraqi banks. The workshop was organized in collaboration with the Arab Academy for Banking and Financial Services, while the Iraq Bankers’ Association played a key role in bringing the representatives of Iraqi banks together.


Note to Editors:
The Private Enterprise Partnership for the Middle East (PEP-ME), with start-up funding of $10 million from IFC, provides technical assistance to Afghanistan, Iraq, West Bank and Gaza, and Yemen. PEP-ME focuses its technical assistance in those countries on improving the business and regulatory environment, strengthening financial institutions and markets, stimulating the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises, and assisting in the restructuring and privatization of state-owned enterprises.


The mission of IFC (
www.ifc.org) is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY03, IFC has committed more than $37 billion of its own funds and arranged $22 billion in syndications for 2,990 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY03 was $16.8 billion for its own account and $6.6 billion held for participants in loan syndications.



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