Kabul, Afghanistan, July 21 2009–IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is helping raise awareness among senior
bank and government officials in Afghanistan about risk management in financial
markets amid the unfolding global financial crisis. This will help build
Afghanistan’s emerging financial sector, which is key to developing the
private sector and creating jobs.
Today, IFC and Da Afghanistan Bank (the
Central Bank of Afghanistan) jointly organized a conference to provide
a platform for participants to share experiences and lessons learned about
risk management in today’s turbulent and rapidly-changing financial environment.
The dialogue helped the banking industry to keep apprised of financial-sector
policymaking changes in developed and emerging countries.
“Over the half day of intense – but
fruitful – discussions, we have learned a great deal about how risks can
be managed even though few resources are available. Today’s conference
has indeed proved to be the starting point for sharing experiences between
the IFC and Afghanistan’s emerging financial sector,” said Abdul Qadeer
Fitrat, Governor of Da Afghanistan Bank, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
During a half day conference, participants discussed lessons learned
from the crisis in risk management, managing risk in an Islamic shari'ah
environment, SME banking, challenges and opportunities in housing finance,
and how to extend access to finance to the underserved through
“Risk management begins with creating
an appropriate culture within organizations. This conference provided the
opportunity to exchange views, ideas, predictions, and solutions to ensure
that we are all better prepared in the future,” said James Gohary, IFC
Senior Operations Manager.
IFC’s investment portfolio in Afghanistan
totals $95 million in five companies. IFC Advisory Services complement
its investments by helping build the capacity of financial institutions
to lend to micro and small businesses, and working with the government
to establish regulatory frameworks for leasing and housing sector lending.
Moreover, it is advising the Central Bank set up credit and collateral
registries. IFC is also building practical business skills of local entrepreneurs
and supporting small and medium enterprises in such sectors as agribusiness.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives.
We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting
private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory
and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments
totaled $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous
year. For more information, please visit www.ifc.org.