IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, signed today a trade financing agreement with BLOM Bank; a partnership that will further expand the access of the lender's clients to global markets, supporting cross-border trade, and boosting economic growth.
BLOM Bank is joining IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program (GTFP), a $5 billion program offering guarantees to global and regional banks, in support of trade. Under this agreement, IFC guarantees will complement BLOM Bank’s capacity to offer trade financing to both its importing and exporting clients in the emerging markets, by providing risk mitigation for challenging trade transactions.
“This new cooperation with IFC will broaden our trade finance capabilities by offering our clients wider access to international and emerging markets, allowing them to build long term valuable and sustainable business opportunities which ultimately spur national economic growth," said Saad Azhari, Chairman and General Manager of BLOM Bank.
“Facilitating trade is the key to driving growth in Lebanon,” said Saad Sabra, IFC Senior Country Officer in Lebanon. “Cross-border trade not only helps create jobs and foster innovation, but also reduces prices for consumers, especially on raw materials, pharmaceuticals in addition to essential goods, like food. It is also critical in developing local industry/manufacturers by opening new untapped export markets.”
IFC has dedicated $3.4 billion to supporting cross-border trade in Lebanon, the second most of any country in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Since the inception of the GTFP, IFC has committed $7.9 billion to support trade financing across the MENA region.