Stockholm, Sweden, January 8, 2010—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, and Sida today signed an agreement for
Sweden to provide up to $125 million (up to 1.2 billion Swedish krona equivalent)
to expand the availability of trade finance for the developing economies
of Central and Eastern Europe, where business has contracted because of
the global financial crisis.
The agreement signed by IFC and Sida, the Swedish International Development
Cooperation Agency, will provide unfunded guarantees to global and regional
banks that finance trade in emerging markets in Central and Eastern Europe,
including Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo, Macedonia,
Moldova, Serbia, Turkey, and Ukraine.
This is the first facility within phase two of the IFC-led Global Trade
Liquidity Program, a coordinated effort among government, international
financial institutions, and development agencies to support trade finance
in the wake of the drop in liquidity due to the global financial crisis.
Over the last six months, the program has disbursed more than $900 million
to support $2.2 billion in trade transactions in emerging markets.
The unfunded guarantees provided through the facility will encourage banks
to finance trade by helping mitigate the credit risk of re-entering or
expanding into emerging markets. IFC plans to match Sida’s contribution
and manage the facility.
According to a recent report by the International Monetary Fund and the
Bankers’ Association for Finance and Trade, the overall value in trade
finance business dropped the sharpest in Central and Eastern Europe, when
comparing January 2009 with October 2008.
“This facility will go a long way to strengthen businesses in Central
and Eastern Europe, one of the regions hit hardest by the global economic
crisis,” said Lars Thunell, IFC Executive Vice President and CEO. “We
are grateful for Sweden’s timely support, and look forward to other institutions
and governments joining us to revitalize trade in the region.”
Anders Nordström, Sida’s Director
General, said, “I am proud that Sweden is at the forefront when it comes
to new thinking and the development of new instruments to assist developing
countries, which have been made more vulnerable by the financial crisis.”
IFC is the only international financial
institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable
development in emerging markets. Along with IBRD, it is currently seeking
a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity for
the poor in developing countries—including by helping banks extend more
trade finance to enterprises in emerging markets.
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 $14.5
billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries
during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
Sida is an authority under the jurisdiction of the Swedish Ministry for
Foreign Affairs. The Swedish development cooperation is part of a global
cooperation in which Sweden is one of many international participants.
In order to carry out its work, Sida cooperates with Swedish government
agencies, organizations and associations, and international bodies like
the United Nations, the European Union, and the World Bank. For more information,