Argentina’s Banco Santander Río and Egypt’s Al Baraka Bank have joined the International Finance Corporation’s global trade finance programme (GTFP) to boost access to trade finance for the countries’ exporters and importers.

The GTFP supports trade in emerging markets by providing partial or full guarantees for trade transactions using the IFC’s triple-A credit rating.

Agustin Mariani, managing director of global transaction banking at Banco Santander Río, says: “This partnership will also help us to expand our access to trade finance lines from international banks, allowing us to continue to support the growth of international trade business in Argentina.”

The partnership falls at a crucial time for Argentina, as newly-elected president Mauricio Macri has promised to take the measures needed for an economic recovery, after about 12 years of controversial leadership by Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and her late husband, Nestor Kirchner.

Al Baraka Bank is the third Egyptian bank, and the country’s first Islamic bank, to join the programme, aiming to help clients import commodities, including raw materials, pharmaceuticals, fertilisers and spare parts to be used in the manufacturing sector.

“With support from IFC, we will be able to strengthen our clients’ operations and help them enter new international markets,” says Ashraf El-Ghamrawy, CEO and vice-chairman.

Since its inception in 2005, the IFC’s GTFP has issued more than 21,000 trade-related guarantees, totalling US$36bn, to over 280 bank partners in 95 countries.