The IFC’s global trade finance programme (GTFP) has sailed past US$10bn in guarantees issued with a south-south shipment of steel from Malaysia to Vietnam pushing the programme past the milestone.

The programme supports trade with emerging markets worldwide by providing risk mitigation and extending banks’ capacity to give trade finance to businesses on a by-transaction basis.

More than 200 issuing banks in 84 emerging markets are involved in the programme.

“South-south private sector trade is an area of strategic focus for IFC and it is fitting that it helped the GTFP reach the US$10bn mark since over 40% of guarantees issued were for south-south trade,” says Bonnie Galat, global head of GTFP marketing and distribution.

The IFC has also opened up an Istanbul operations centre to issue guarantees across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

“The location of IFC’s Istanbul hub will allow maximum efficiency across the globe by issuing guarantees from a more convenient one for many banks in the programme and driving GTFP growth further,” Galat adds.

South-south private sector trade is an area of strategic focus for IFC.”

In the first half of fiscal year 2011 the programme issued US$2.1bn in guarantees, which is a 34% growth from the same period last year.

To date, there have been no defaults and no pay-outs under the guarantees issued.