Tunis, Tunisia, March 14, 2012—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, and Amen Bank today signed a partnership
agreement that will help Tunisian companies increase cross-border trade
and generate foreign exchange, driving economic development in the country.
Amen Bank is the first lender in Tunisia to join IFC’s Global Trade Finance
Program, or GTFP, which promotes trade within emerging markets. Under this
agreement, IFC risk guarantees will allow Amen Bank to offer its clients
import and export financing, supporting the flow of goods and services
between Tunisia and other developing countries.
“This will help local businesses access
global markets which in turn will spur economic growth in the country,”
said Ahmed El Karm, Vice President of Amen Bank.
Trade finance is the engine of an estimated $14 trillion in annual global
commerce and is fundamental to the movement of goods at all stages of the
supply chain, especially in emerging markets.
“Trade is a key driver of global integration,” said Dimitris Tsitsiragos,
IFC Vice President for Eastern and Southern Europe, Central Asia, the Middle
East and North Africa. “The Global Trade Finance Program allows
companies to access new markets, generating valuable foreign exchange,
and helps sustain imports, which can be critical to local economies.”
Since its inception in 2005, IFC’s
award-winning GTFP has issued more than 11,000 guarantees totaling $15.8
billion to banks on trade-related payment obligations to its financial
institution clients in emerging markets. Most significantly, in fiscal
year 2011, 53 percent of the total volume was to support trade in the world’s
poorest countries, and 79 percent went to small and medium enterprises.
The program includes more than 200 partner banks in over 90 emerging-market
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, providing
advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital
in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty
across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental
performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving
our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information,
About Amen Bank
Amen Bank is the fifth largest bank
and second largest private bank in Tunisia. As of 2011, Amen Bank had total
assets of TND5.5 billion, TND3.7 billion in deposits and 132 branches.
The bank is a leader in trade finance, foreign exchange transactions, project
finance and internet banking. For more information, visit www.amenbank.com.tn