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IFC talks global trade finance at Exporta.

CAIRO: In 2010, the International Finance Corporation's Global Trade Finance Program (GTFP) issued 2,811 guarantees amounting to $3.4 billion, officials said at a conference Thursday.

Shehzad Sharjeel, regional head of the GTFP for the Middle East and North Africa, outlined the IFC's role in promoting a network of banks and expanding the role of multilateral partnerships in enhancing global trade.

At the Exporta North Africa Trade and Investment Conference, Sharjeel said that the GTFP acts as a bridge between banks in developed and developing countries offering guarantees of up to $3 billion for trade transactions.

This year's leading banks include Citibank, JP Morgan, Bank of China, Deutsche Bank and BNP Paribas

Explaining the benefits of the program, he gave an example of a letter of credit issued by a Russian bank dealing with energy efficiency equipment that was confirmed by a Nordic bank in Finland with a value of E15.86 million and a 12-month tenure, for which IFC guaranteed 100 percent of the transaction.

"There was also a Brazilian offering pre-export financing for agricultural goods with a value of $8.3 million, which was confirmed by a bank in the US also with a 100 percent guarantee from IFC," Sharjeel commented.

"There are no fees to join the program, [which] allows banks to get immediate access to a network of 207 confirming banks in 85 countries. This program can issue guarantees for any trade obligation. So far the program has issued 7,000 guarantees amounting to $8.7 billion," he added.

Sharjeel also presented the progress of the IFC's Global Trade Liquidity Program (GTLP), which delivers a committed risk-sharing arrangement to buy 40 percent of FI risk of trade-related receivables

"In October 2008, we felt that [in] most countries, liquidity was a choking point and interbank lending was low. So the IFC launched this program which allocated funds from our own resources and mobilized funds from partners and channeled those funds to global banks," he explained.

IFC Program Partners in the GTLP include governments, development finance institutions and multilateral agencies.

"The volume of trade supported to this date amounts to $6.5 billion for 4,600 trade transactions with small and medium enterprise financing at 82 percent and Africa receiving 19 percent of the aid," he concluded.

According the Sharjeel the program was the outcome of the financial crisis.

Daily NewsEgypt 2009

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Publication:Daily News Egypt (Egypt)
Geographic Code:70MID
Date:Nov 11, 2010
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