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Sunday, 19 May 2013

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IFC hosts trade finance seminar

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, hosted an advanced trade finance seminar in Colombo last week to train bankers from Sri Lanka and the Maldives on using sophisticated trade finance products, to better serve small entrepreneurs engaged in international trade. The five-day training program, sponsored by the government of Japan, helps bankers identify opportunities to connect local businesses with international customers and suppliers. The participants also learned to identify and mitigate operational risks by adopting international best practices in trade finance.

The seminar in progress

"It is important for bankers to continuously increase their knowledge in trade finance to stay competitive," said head of the economic cooperation section at the Embassy of Japan in Sri Lanka, Suguru Minoya. "We believe IFC's training in trade finance is timely, as both countries expand trade and investment."

The training was led by the IFC Global Trade Finance Advisory Program. The initiative is part of IFC's $ 5 billion Global Trade Finance Program, which supports banks in emerging markets as they channel credit towards trade-related transactions of their clients.

"IFC's trade finance advisory program helps bankers keep pace with developments in global financial markets," said IFC Country Manager, Sri Lanka and Maldives, Adam Sack. "We will continue to work with financial institutions through such interactive training programs to boost trade expertise and support trade flows."

Set up in 2005, the Global Trade Finance Program has issued more than 15,000 guarantees totalling $23 billion to banks for trade-related payment obligations of their clients in emerging markets. In 2012, IFC provided $ 3 billion to support trade in the world's poorest countries and 81 percent of all guarantees went to small and medium enterprises.

The program includes more than 260 partner banks in more than 90 emerging-market countries.

Sri Lanka is a priority country for IFC. IFC's committed portfolio of over $200 million in Sri Lanka covers projects across a range of sectors, including infrastructure and tourism.

IFC also provides advisory services to promote sustainable growth among small and medium enterprises by facilitating access to finance and by offering capacity-building and training opportunities.

 

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