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Trade is the lifeblood of the world economy, with the import and exports of goods driving economic growth and job creation. Going back to ancient times, whether by camel caravan or sailing vessels and now by air, container ship or roads, trade has brought people together and increased prosperity.
But for too many businesses in emerging markets, the finance that underpins the global trading system is out of reach. That is why IFC started its Global Trade Finance Program in 2005 and expanded to other trade and commodity finance programs beginning in 2009. Now covering about 235 financial institutions in about 73 countries around the world, the program remains a critical form of support for thousands of underlying businesses in emerging markets, especially at a time when some global banks are starting to reduce their support for trade finance due to de-risking.
In FY 2019, our Global Trade Finance Program supported an impressive 2,036 transactions worth $4.5 billion globally. Through the program, IFC supported $2.5 billion trade in IDA countries and Fragile and Conflict Affected States.
None of this would have been possible without the support of our trade finance partners. IFC is grateful to recognize its leading partners with the presentation of its 9th Annual Trade Awards. Awards are bestowed on Global Partners; on regional partners in the Middle East & Africa; Latin America, the Caribbean & Europe; and Asia; and for Operational Excellence. IFC congratulates each winner and thanks them for their continued partnership.