Ramallah, West Bank and Gaza, September
2, 2019—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today signed a trade
financing agreement with a leading bank in the West Bank and Gaza to boost
cross-border trade and help local businesses access international markets.
IFC will provide Quds Bank with trade guarantees
to help its clients import and export critical commodities, including raw
materials, pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, and spare parts. It will also
help the bank connect to a global correspondent banking network, crucial
to grow its trade business over the coming few years.
“We are delighted with our partnership with
IFC. We always seek to provide advanced banking solutions that meet the
requirements of our clients. This agreement will support our strategy and
helps us to develop our portfolio, strengthening our footprint as a market
leader locally and abroad through the diversification of our services,"
said Salah Hidmi, Chief Executive Officer of Quds Bank.
The agreement is part of IFC’s $5 billion
Global Trade Finance Program (GTFP). This offers global and regional banks
guarantees covering payment risk against letters of credit and other trade-related
transactions in new or challenging markets where trade lines may be constrained
“Palestinian companies often find it difficult
to trade across borders because of a lack of financing,” said Youssef
Habesch, IFC Principal Country Officer in the West Bank and Gaza. “By
supporting businesses with trade guarantees, we can help boost cross-border
commerce. That will allow local firms to generate foreign currency and
help Palestinians access products that are not available locally.”
The deal marks IFC’s third trade financing
deal in the Palestinians territories. The agreement is aligned with the
World Bank Group’s Country Partnership Strategy for the West Bank and
Gaza, which focuses on supporting the financial sector and expanding inclusion
by easing access to finance and trade facilitation.
Quds Bank is the third-largest national bank
in terms of market share and assets, with a network of 40 branches spread
across the West Bank and Gaza. It has recently opened a representative
office in Amman-Jordan.
Since the inception of the GTFP, IFC has
committed $6.3 billion to support trade financing across MENA, of which
around $5.4 billion is in fragile and conflict-affected countries.
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank
and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution
focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than
2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence
to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world.
In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more than $23 billion in long-term financing
for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to
end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information,