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IFC and Japan Train African Banks to Boost Trade Finance Capacity

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, September 17, 2009 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing training in trade finance to bankers in the Democratic Republic of Congo to help banks improve their trade finance products and better serve small businesses.  
In cooperation with the government of Japan, IFC is hosting a seminar in Kinshasa on structuring trade finance transactions, managing trade finance risk, and increasing trade finance product offerings.  More than 20 banking professionals from 13 banks across the Democratic Republic of Congo are participating in the seminar, which runs from September 14 to September 18.
“IFC, through its Global Trade Finance Program, is helping restore access to trade finance, which has been negatively affected by the global financial crisis,” said Georgina Baker, IFC Director for Financial Markets.  “The program’s training component is vital in helping banks in emerging markets provide trade finance to importers and exporters, particularly small and medium enterprises.”
Kiyohiko Ikeda, First Secretary, Embassy of Japan in the Democratic Republic of Congo, said, “The Japanese government is pleased to work with IFC to support emerging market trade.  The seminar in Kinshasa is an important opportunity for local banking professionals to sharpen their knowledge of trade finance to better serve local entrepreneurs and small businesses.”  
Japan has provided $1 million to the IFC Global Trade Finance Program to support training workshops and help local banks in Africa develop trade finance expertise in line with internationally recognized best practices.  The government has sought to keep trade flowing during the global financial crisis.  Working in close cooperation with IFC, Japan launched a $1.5 billion trade finance initiative in February 2009 to support importers and exporters in developing countries.
Established in 2005, the IFC Global Trade Finance Program promotes the expansion of trade between emerging markets, particularly South-South trade.  It has provided more than $5.3 billion in guarantees to 158 issuing banks in 74 countries and delivered trade finance training courses in more than 50 countries worldwide.
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 .