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IFC Approves Expansion of Global Trade Finance Program to $1.5 Billion


In Washington, D.C.:
Lotte Pang
Phone: +1 (202) 758 4290
Email: LPang@ifc.org


Washington D.C., October 9, 2008—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has approved a $500 million increase to the IFC Global Trade Finance Program, bringing the program’s ceiling to $1.5 billion. The expansion of the program enhances IFC’s counter-cyclical role and its ability to respond to the global credit crisis by supporting trade with emerging markets.

During a liquidity crisis, banks typically reduce their exposure as a defensive measure, which often results in a decrease in short-term trade lines. Through the Global Trade Finance Program, IFC can guarantee the payment risk of issuing banks up to the full value of a transaction. This enables the continued flow of trade credit into the market at a time when imports may be critical and the country’s exports can generate much-needed foreign exchange.

Georgina Baker, Director, Short-Term Finance, Global Financial Markets Department, said, “The growth of the program is accelerating, demonstrating the increasing need to support nascent and challenging trade channels and our corporate commitment to meet the demand.  The extended capacity of the program comes at a critical time of severe credit constraints in the market, making IFC a highly valued partner in trade financing.”

To date, 126 issuing banks in 66 countries and more than 145 confirming banks in 70 countries are members of the program. This has created a network of potential partnerships that global and local banks can access to deliver trade finance solutions. In its first three years of operation, more than 2,300 guarantees have been issued for over $3 billion in commitments. Nearly one-third of the transactions involve trade between emerging markets, with 75 percent supporting small and midsize importers and exporters.

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 $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

For information on the Global Trade Finance Program, visit www.ifc.org/gtfp.