IFC Helps Banks in Central Asia Explore Trade Finance Opportunities
Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic, July 27, 2012—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, this week hosted a trade finance training program for 11 banks in Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan to help them explore new trade finance products and broaden financial services for their clients who export and import goods and services.
The five-day training program, run with sponsorship from Switzerland’s State Secretariat of Economic Affairs (SECO), helped banks identify opportunities to connect local businesses with international customers and suppliers. The participants also learned how to identify and mitigate operational risks by adopting good trade finance practices.
“The bankers need to keep pace with developments in global financial markets and act accordingly to stay competitive,” said Edward Strawderman, Associate Director of IFC’s Global Financial Markets Department for Europe and Central Asia. “Through such international training programs, bankers in different countries will learn how to use trade finance products and make the most of opportunities to increase external trade.”
Gabriela Schafroth, Project Manager, said, “The State Secretariat of Economic Affairs of the Swiss government is focused on the promotion of sustainable economic growth based on a market economy and on the integration of developing countries into the world economy. IFC’s mandate to promote trade by integrating developing countries into the international trade network fits our strategy, and SECO is delighted to partner with IFC in its effort to build capacity of banks in emerging markets.”
This training was led by the IFC Global Trade Finance Advisory Program. The initiative is part of IFC’s $3 billion Global Trade Finance Program, which supports banks in emerging markets as they channel credit toward trade-related transactions of their financial-institution clients.
Since its inception in 2005, the Global Trade Finance Program has issued more than 12,000 guarantees totaling $19 billion to emerging market banks. IFC works with more than 60 partner issuing banks in Europe and Central Asia, where IFC supported more than $1 billion in trade transaction activity in the last year. The Trade Advisory Services program has delivered 160 training modules in trade finance operations, sales, and risk management over the last six years, working with more than 4,300 bankers from over 50 countries.