IFC Gathers Record Number of Trade Partners in Lisbon
Trade is the lifeblood of the world economy and a key driver of global integration, helping small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to grow and create jobs. Showing the growing importance of its trade network, a record 350 participants, representing 188 institutions from more than 50 countries attended IFC’s Global Trade Partners Meeting, which took place in Lisbon, Portugal, the week of February 17, 2014.
Portuguese Deputy Prime Minister Paulo Portas delivered the opening keynote address, kicking off two days of insightful discussions on building cross-border banking networks, developing innovative solutions for agribusiness and commodity finance, and enhancing global value chains by financing SMEs.
“Since IFC began its trade program in 2005, we have helped facilitate more than $80 billion worth of trade. But that is not something IFC does on its own. Without you, our clients, we would be unable to achieve our mission,” said IFC Vice President, Europe, Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa, Dimitris Tsitsiragos to the delegates.
IFC’s product suite now includes structured commodity finance, supply chain finance, and warehouse finance. Reflecting this growth and the diversification of IFC’s trade programs, for the first time attendees included a wider range of partners such as corporate clients, insurance companies and collateral agents as well as banks.
The meeting, the sixth and most successful to date in terms of attendance, comes as IFC’s award-winning trade programs have reached new heights, and have an impact on the frontier. Recently IFC added its first partners in Myanmar and Iraq. Earlier this year, IFC secured a deal to finance oil imports into Cote D’Ivoire, as that country emerges from conflict, and recently introduced IFC’s first facility supporting RMB denominated trade.