Press Releases

IFC Holds Strategy Seminar With Iraqi Senior Executive Bankers

In Washington, D.C.:
Corrie Shanahan

Phone: +(202)473-2258


In Cairo:

Ghada Teima

Phone: + 011(20 2)
579 5812

Amman, January 18, 2005 –The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank, held a seminar for senior Iraqi bankers in Amman, Jordan, this month through its Private Enterprise Partnership for the Middle East and North Africa, PEP-MENA.

The objective of the seminar was to discuss the development of the Iraqi banking sector. Topics included the challenges facing the banking sector in post-crisis countries and lessons learned from other countries. In addition, small and medium enterprise banking models were presented as a topic of importance to the Iraqi economic development, as well as best practices in bank governance.

The participants were primarily board members, general managers, and deputies from the private sector and the specialized state-owned banks. The Ministry of Finance was also represented. The seminar concluded with a roundtable discussion, which gave the participants an opportunity to share their views and priorities.

Mr. Jesper Kjaer, General Manager of PEP-MENA, said, “The aim of this event was to highlight the challenges facing the Iraqi banking sector. Through constructive dialogue, it also allowed us to understand better the Iraqi needs for technical assistance in this sector so that we can further develop appropriate programs.”

The two-day seminar, held January 10-11, came as the conclusion to a five-month training program launched by PEP-MENA in September 2004, in which 250 Iraqi bankers were trained on various banking disciplines: credit risk management, asset liability management, foreign exchange risk, strategic planning, marketing and retail financial products, international accounting standards, and credit appraisal and financial analysis.

PEP-MENA is a $100 million multidonor technical assistance facility managed and cofunded by IFC to support private sector development in the region, stretching from Morocco in the west to Pakistan in the east.

IFC’s mission 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, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY04, IFC has committed more than $44 billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications for 3,143 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.