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IFC Supports Cross-Border Trade, Economic Development in Pakistan

In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa
Phone: +20 2 2461 423

In Washington, D.C.: 
John McNally
Phone: (202) 458-0723

Karachi, Pakistan, January 29, 2013—IFC, member of the World Bank Group, and BankIslami Pakistan today signed an agreement that will help Pakistani companies access global import and export markets, spurring trade, production, economic growth, and job creation.  

The agreement sees BankIslami become the 12th bank in Pakistan and second Islamic bank to join IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program, which promotes trade in emerging markets by supporting the flow of goods and services. Under this agreement, IFC will support BankIslami’s trade finance business by providing partial or full guarantees for individual trade transactions.

“IFC guarantees will help Pakistan’s private sector access global markets and in turn contribute to economic growth and job creation,” said Hasan Bilgrami, Chief Executive Officer of BankIslami. “It is a testament to the strong business franchising and expanding market share of BankIslami in general and in the Islamic banking sector in particular.”

Since the trade finance program’s inception in Pakistan in 2006, IFC has provided more than 3,500 guarantees worth $1.74 billion to financial institutions, helping to drive trade and create jobs.  

“Trade finance is the engine of an estimated $14 trillion in annual global commerce,” said K. Aftab Ahmed, IFC Director for Financial Markets and PE Funds for Europe, Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa. “With easy and affordable access to trade finance, local entrepreneurs can reach new
markets, grow their businesses, and hire more employees.”

Close to 85 percent of IFC’s trade finance guarantees in Pakistan covered the import of products which are crucial for sustainable economic growth. Those included food and raw materials used in industrial production.  

Pakistan is a priority country for IFC. During the last three years, IFC has ramped up its investments and advisory services work in the country, supporting the development of Pakistan’s private sector. IFC has focused on mobilizing investments in power and infrastructure, and providing access to finance for micro, small, and medium enterprises through financial intermediaries.  

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

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About BankIslami
BankIslami ranks amongst the fastest-growing emerging banks in Pakistan. It opened its doors in 2006 and now has 141 branches and sub-branches in 66 cities. The bank is aiming to raise its number of branches to 200 by the end of 2013, thereby further consolidating its position as the second largest Islamic bank in Pakistan. For more information, visit