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IFC to Expand Its Global Trade Finance Program to the Caribbean


IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is looking to expand its Global Trade Finance Program in the Caribbean to help local banks grow their trade finance operations. IFC will host a three-day training seminar in Port of Spain, targeting high-level officials from regional banks that focus on international trade. The objective is to promote tools for managing risk associated with trade finance products and services, as well as to foster commercial linkages that help establish agreements among banks in the region.

Given that most Caribbean islands rely heavily on imports, the IFC Global Trade Finance Program can be an important catalyst to help local banks expand their operations in the trade finance sector. The program provides access to a network of over 115 confirming banks, which allows local importers to reach other export markets.

The IFC seminar in Port of Spain was designed in collaboration with Global Trade Interactive, a leading international trade training provider in Europe and principal consultant to the International Chamber of Commerce. Participants will analyze sovereign risk in trade finance transactions, learn about the different kinds of international documentary credit and their use and benefits, explore international trade finance rules such UCP 600, gain knowledge of the different international guarantee instruments, and become familiar with the process of applying the IFC guarantee to the different financing structures in trade finance, under the Global Trade Finance Program.

Participants will represent 15 banks from the region, including ABI Bank (Antigua and Barbuda); Caribbean Union Bank and Barbados National Bank (Barbados); Belize Bank (Belize); National Bank of Dominica (Dominica); Republic Bank (Grenada); Citizens Bank Guyana (Guyana); First Global Bank (Jamaica); Demerara Bank and St. Kitts and Nevis Anguilla National Bank (St. Kitts and Nevis/Anguilla); Bank of St. Lucia (St. Lucia); and AIC Financial Group, Clico Investment Bank, National Mortgage Financial, and Republic Bank (Trinidad and Tobago).

The next regional seminar will be held during the first quarter of 2008 and will target the francophone countries in the Caribbean.

Launched in 2005, the IFC Global Trade Finance Program supports trade with the emerging markets worldwide. It aims to increase developing countries’ share of global trade and promote South-South flows of goods and services. The program provides trade guarantees to banks in over 70 countries. In Latin America and the Caribbean, IFC has issued guarantees for $426 million, which constitutes 28 percent of the guarantees issued worldwide, a total of $1.5 billion. In the Caribbean, Banco Leon in the Dominican Republic and Capital Bank in Haiti have already joined the program.

IFC will expand the program to new markets in Chile, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Paraguay, and St. Lucia. It also expects to expand the program in countries where it already operates, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Uruguay.

IFC also looks to develop its advisory services for the program, an integral component that is designed to help participating banks build their capacity in trade finance and international trade operations.

On November 2007, IFC received the Best Multilateral of the Year Award from Latin Finance magazine. In 2006, IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program received Trade Finance magazine’s Best Development Bank in Trade award.

For more information, visit

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that poor people have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through loan participations and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information, visit


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