KARACHI - International Finance Corporation, member of World Bank Group and BankIslami Pakistan Limited on Tuesday signed an agreement that will help Pakistani companies access global import and export markets, spurring trade, production, economic growth and job creation.
The agreement sees BankIslami become the 12th bank in Pakistan and second Islamic Bank to join IFC’s Global Trade Finance Programme, which promotes trade in emerging markets by supporting the flow of goods and services. Under this agreement, IFC will support BankIslami’s trade finance business by providing partial or full guarantees for individual trade transactions.
“IFC guarantees will help Pakistan’s private sector access global markets and in turn contribute to economic growth and job creation,” said Hasan Bilgrami, Chief Executive Officer of BankIslami. “It is a testament to the strong business franchising and expanding market share of BankIslami in general and in the Islamic banking sector in particular.”
Since the trade finance programme’s inception in Pakistan in 2006, IFC has provided more than 3,500 guarantees worth $1.74 billion to financial institutions, helping to drive trade and create jobs.
“Trade finance is the engine of an estimated $14 trillion in annual global commerce,” said K. Aftab Ahmed, IFC Director for Financial Markets and PE Funds for Europe, Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa. “With easy and affordable access to trade finance, local entrepreneurs can reach new markets, grow their businesses and hire more employees.”
Close to 85 percent of IFC’s trade finance guarantees in Pakistan covered the import of products which are crucial for sustainable economic growth. Those included food and raw materials used in industrial production.