The IFC has accepted Bank Alfalah onto its Global Trade Finance programme as an issuing bank, in an effort to increase access to trade finance for businesses in Pakistan.

By joining the programme, the Pakistani bank can take advantage of the IFC’s guarantee coverage of bank risk in emerging markets, which will help the bank extend its trade service transactions with a range of countries and banks across the globe.

“Through the programme, we will be able to enhance our trade product offering, extend our relationship with correspondent banks worldwide, and structure trade finance solutions to meet the needs of our clients, especially small and medium enterprises, helping them increase their business in new markets around the globe. The trade line will enhance Bank Alfalah’s credibility substantially through its association with a reliable and trustworthy partner of global stature and repute This partnership should lead to augmented trade transactions and assistance in product expansion,” comments Sirajuddin Aziz, chief operating officer, at Bank Alfalah.

Priyamvada Singh, IFC’s trade specialist in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia adds: “Bank Alfalah’s participation in the IFC global trade finance programme will help expand the bank’s trade capacity with a wider network of correspondent banks, providing the flexibility to respond to the evolving global environment for Pakistan’s trade flows.”

Bank Alfalah is the fifth largest bank in Pakistan in terms of market share and has a network of nearly 200 branches, including 23 Islamic banking branches and six overseas divisions in Afghanistan, Bahrain and Bangladesh.