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IFC, The Netherlands Strengthen South Asian Bankers Trade Finance and Risk Management Skills

February 3, 2010‐ Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Mumbai, February 4, 2010 - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the government of the Netherlands are organizing training programs in Bhutan and Nepal to support trade finance and risk management awareness among banks to improve their ability to assist local entrepreneurs and small businesses.

In cooperation with the government of the Netherlands, IFC hosted a two-day seminar in Thimphu, Bhutan and Kathmandu, Nepal on February 1 and 2, 2010. The SouthAsia Enterprise Development Facility, managed by IFC in partnership with the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development and the Norwegian Agency for Development, also supported the program. The event promoted tools for managing risks associated with trade finance products and services, and for facilitating agreements between local banks that focus on international trade.

“Trade is a driving force of economy and an engine of growth in many developing countries,” said Per Kjellerhaug, IFC Regional Manager for South Asia. “IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program targets Nepal and Bhutan to help these countries engage with the global trade network. I strongly believe that participants from banks of both countries will benefit from the course and will be able to improve their trade finance skills.”

Marije Hulshof, Managing Director of NL EVD International, under the Ministry of Economic Affairs of the Netherlands, said, “We are delighted to help IFC promote trade in developing countries. We appreciate IFC and the help it is providing to banks to strengthen their trade finance operations through the trade finance program. I believe this support will help increase trade among emerging markets.”

Launched in 2005, the IFC Global Trade Finance Program supports trade with emerging markets worldwide. It aims to increase developing countries’ share of global trade and flows of goods and services among them.

Globally, the program has provided more than $6.5 billion worth of guarantees to over 175 issuing banks in 80 countries, where more than 74 percent are issued to small and medium enterprises. It also has delivered more than 75 training courses in trade finance, reaching 1,775 bankers in over 30 countries worldwide.

IFC is the only international financial institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable development in emerging markets. Along with IBRD, it is currently seeking a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity for the poor in developing countries—including by supporting trade finance and risk management by banks.

To learn more about IFC’s activities in South Asia, visit www.ifc.org/southasia.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

For further information contact: Minakshi Seth /Phone: +91 11 4111 1000/ E-mail: mseth@ifc.org, Aditi Som /Mob: +91 9890170697/ E-mail: aditi@integralpr.com

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