Press Releases

IFC, Amen Bank Support Tunisian Exporters and Importers

In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa
Phone: +20 2 2461 423

In Washington, D.C.:
John McNally
Phone: (202) 458-0723

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 countries.

About IFC
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, visit

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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