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IFC Recognizes MUFG’s and SMBC’s Achievements in Trade Finance in Developing Economies

Tokyo, Japan, March 31, 2020 — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced that MUFG Bank, Ltd. (MUFG) and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) were selected as the Best Regional Confirming Bank in the East Asia and Pacific region and the Best Green Trade Partner Bank, respectively, under the Global Trade Finance Program (GTFP).  
MUFG was chosen for having the largest volume of transactions in the region and leadership in providing trade finance in emerging markets, while SMBC was recognized for its contribution to facilitating trade flows of energy-efficient and sustainable goods. This is the second time SMBC has been selected for Global Trade Finance Awards —it won the “Best Trade Finance Portfolio Partner” in 2017.    
With more participation of developing economies in Global Value Chains (GVC), trade finance is critical in supporting trade and economic growth of developing countries. The demand for trade finance continues to outpace supply, with the gap estimated at $1.5 trillion globally. This gap could expand further due to COVID-19 outbreak. This month, the World Bank Group launched a $14 billion COVID-19 response package, of which $2 billion is from the GTFP, $2 billion is from the Working Capital Solutions Program, and $2 billion is from the Global Trade Liquidity Program and the Critical Commodities Finance Program.
“Trade finance is one of IFC’s strategic focuses and is especially important during times of economic crisis – by supporting immediate trade flows, working capital, and liquidity needs,” said Paulo de Bolle, Senior Director of IFC’s Global Financial Institution Group.  “The World Bank Group welcomes Japanese banks’ efforts to contribute to narrowing the trade financing gap, especially in developing economies.” IFC started selecting the best trade finance partners globally in 2007.  
About IFC
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities where they are needed most. In fiscal year 2019, we delivered more than $19 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org
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