Cairo, Egypt, September 1, 2013—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is promoting trade in the Middle East
and North Africa (MENA) to help the economic integration of the region.
In the past fiscal year, which ended on June 30, the IFC’s Global Trade
Finance Program (GTFP) committed more than $1 billion to guarantee cross
border deals in the region, doubling the commitment since 2010.
The GTFP makes it easier for local banks to provide trade finance by mitigating
risks in markets where trade may be hampered. The program offers global
and regional banks guarantees covering payment risk and letters of credit
for trade related transactions, so that businesses can feel confident in
long distance transactions of vital goods such as medical and agricultural
equipment, foodstuffs, energy goods, and raw materials.
“Our GTFP partnership with IFC has helped us manage the growing needs
of our clients in Lebanon and abroad,” said Salim G. Sfeir, Chairman
of the board and CEO at Bank of Beirut. “Being a bank with a strong
focus on trade, we consider this support to be crucial to integrate the
region and build foundations for a sustainable future.”
Lebanon leads the way in the region, benefitting from a $496 million trade
commitment in the past year, a 34 percent increase on the previous fiscal
year. Banks in Pakistan, Egypt, and Jordan make up the bulk of the rest
of IFC's trade commitments in MENA.
“The Middle East and North Africa region can benefit from increased trade
activities, to support economic integration and link it to global economies,
this in turn will boost economic growth,” said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Director
for the Middle East and North Africa.
Over one thousand guarantees to banks in MENA in the past year ensured
that the region remains the best represented in the global program, and
new banks are joining all the time. Since the inception of the program
in 2006, IFC has provided almost $4 billion in trade guarantees across
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the
private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries,
we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme
poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed
to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the
private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development
challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.