Press Releases

IFC Supports Trade Finance in Latin America, Helping to Serve SMEs Better

In Washington, D.C.:
Vanessa Bauza
Phone: (202) 458-1603

La Antigua, Guatemala, May 6, 2013 – IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation, are training 21 Latin American bankers to help them improve their trade finance operations, reduce risks and better serve small and medium enterprises.

Through its advisory services, IFC provides banks and other financial institutions with training and support to improve their skills in structuring basic and complex trade finance transactions and improve their techniques for mitigating trade finance risk. The training also seeks to upgrade the operational and technical skills of their trade finance back offices, and transfer current international best practices in trade finance to local markets.

The participants, who represent twelve banks in Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama and Paraguay, are taking part in a five-day training program from May 6-10, 2013.

This advisory program is part of IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program, which was established in 2005 to promote trade between emerging markets, increase developing countries’ share of global trade, and support the flow of goods and services between these countries. Since its inception, nearly 500 bankers from 20 countries have benefited from the training courses in Latin America and the Caribbean.

“IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program opens doors for local banks that face limits on account of their size, their network of correspondent banks, or the political risk in their countries,” said Georgina Baker, IFC’s Director of Global Trade and Supply Chain Solutions. “Our program has linked more than 500 participating confirming and issuing banks - including 61 issuing banks in Latin America and the Caribbean - into a global network that expands access to finance, particularly for small businesses, and spurs international trade and economic growth.”

IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program offers confirming banks partial or full guarantees on payment obligations in the emerging markets for trade-related transactions and its advisory program is designed to help local banks build their trade finance capacity. Since 2005, 15,019 guarantees were issued for transactions with a total volume of more than $23.3 billion.

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, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit

For more information about IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program in Latin America and the Caribbean Region, please contact Antonio Alves, Principal and Regional Head for Short-Term Finance in the Region, at

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