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IFC Seminar Aims to Boost Trade Finance in South Asia


Dhaka, Bangladesh, June 2008—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will host a seminar in Dhaka, Bangladesh, to help improve the trade finance operations of banks in South Asia and enable them to better support local entrepreneurs and small businesses.

The seminar will promote tools for managing risks associated with trade finance products and services, and it will facilitate agreements between local banks that focus on international trade. It will target high-level banking officials from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. Participants will represent 16 banks from the South Asia region.

Scott Stevenson, IFC Manager for Global Trade Finance Program, explains, “Our mandate as part of IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program, includes assisting banks to develop and upscale their trade finance operations; I hope the participating banks would benefit from the course"

“IFC’s trade finance program helps local banks offer enhanced tenors and access competitive pricing terms that facilitate trade with emerging markets worldwide and promote the flow of goods and services between developing countries. The program’s training component supports our regional approach in enhancing South Asia’s financial sector,” said Per Kjellerhaug, IFC Country Manager for Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal.

The seminar will include sessions on documentary credit, trade finance rules, guarantee instruments, asset liability management, treasury, and the process of applying IFC guarantees to various financing structures. Last year, IFC delivered 13 trade finance training courses, reaching 130 bankers from 25 countries.

Launched in 2005, the IFC Global Trade Finance Program supports trade with emerging markets worldwide. It aims to increase developing countries’ share of global trade and promote South-South flows of goods and services. To date, 12 banks in South Asia have joined the program. Globally, the program has provided more than $2.3 billion worth of guarantees to 97 issuing banks in 50 countries, where more than 70 percent are issued for small and medium enterprises.


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