Press Releases

IFC provides $121 million in trade support to Pakistan, boosting several key sectors

In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa
Phone: +202-24614230

In Washington, DC:

Lotte Pang
Phone: +1-202-7584290

Islamabad, Pakistan, February 18, 2009--IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced that over the past seven months it provided Pakistani banks with $121 million (9.5 billion PKR) in trade finance guarantees, helping Pakistan increase cross-border trade during the recent economic downturn, and benefiting many of its important business sectors.

Thanks to support from IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program, Pakistani banks executed trade transactions worth roughly $121 million between July, 2008 and January, 2009. Sectors and products that benefited from this support include:

  • Agricultural products
  • Machinery equipment
  • IFC supported trade volume of iron & steel increased by $20 million compared  to last year
  • Pakistani hospitals imported about $6 million of medical equipment this year with IFC’s support
Zakir Mahmood, CEO of Habib Bank, said: “We are pleased to be part of this program. This initiative is especially vital in times of international financial crisis and it is enabling us to provide greater services to our clients and expand Pakistan’s trade activities”.

Irfan Siddiqui, CEO of Meezan Bank, the first Islamic bank IFC has supported in Pakistan, said: "IFC has helped us increase our reach and coverage of confirming banks. IFC came at a time when the global financial crisis was knocking on the doors of emerging markets.”

IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program extends and complements banks’ capacity to deliver trade financing by providing risk mitigation in new or challenging market conditions where trade lines might be constrained. Trade guarantees are especially important during the recent global economic turbulence, helping to maintain market confidence and to keep trade flowing.  

K. Aftab Ahmed, IFC's Regional Manager for Global Financial Markets, said: “IFC has increased its investments in Pakistan in several sectors to help build investors confidence. Our trade finance exposure in Pakistan of PKR 9.5 billion in the first seven months of this fiscal year is more than 80 percent higher compared to fiscal year 2008. Due to high demand for trade finance support, IFC will be adding more partner banks in Pakistan in the coming months."

IFC recently doubled the value of its Global Trade Finance Program from $1.5 billion to $3 billion to support trade with emerging market countries amid the current financial turmoil.

About IFC

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, visit