The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and Al Baraka Bank in Egypt, are joining forces to expand the availability of trade finance for Egyptian importers to help spur economic growth and create jobs.
Under an agreement signed late Tuesday with IFC, Al Baraka Bank becomes the third Egyptian bank, and the first Islamic bank in the country, to join IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program (GTFP).
IFC guarantees will help Al Baraka Bank clients import commodities that are critical to the local market, including raw materials, pharmaceuticals, fertilizers and spare parts that will support different manufacturing sectors.
“With support from IFC, we will be able to strengthen our clients’ operations and help them enter new international markets,” said Ashraf El-Ghamrawy, CEO and Vice Chairman of Al Baraka Bank Egypt.
Importing is important for businesses and individual consumers. It provides access to important resources and products that are not available locally. According to official figures, Egypt spends up to $60 billion on imports. In fiscal 2015, IFC’s GTFP committed over $1 billion in the Middle East and North Africa region and over $6 billion around the world.
“Boosting cross-border trade is vital for Egypt’s economy and a priority for IFC,” said Nada Shousha, IFC Country Manager for Egypt, Libya, and Yemen.
“Expanding trade financing, which is particularly beneficial for smaller enterprises, can also help spur economic growth and create jobs, in Egypt and the wider region.”
Since its inception in 2005, IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program has issued more than 21,000 guarantees totaling $36 billion to banks on trade-related payment obligations of its financial institution clients in emerging markets. The program includes more than 280 partner banks in over 95 countries.