Some 16 nations have signed a framework agreement with the Trade Bank of Iraq and the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), providing for a total of over US$2bn in support for the Trade Bank to help facilitate Iraqi reconstruction.

US Ex-Im Bank’s board of directors recently approved a US$500mn short-term insurance facility to support the export of US goods and services to Iraq financed by the Trade Bank. This facility becomes effective with the signing of the 16-nation agreement.

Representatives from a number of ECAs including Italy, UK, Poland, Japan, Spain and Germany, among others, entered into similar framework agreements. Ex-Im Bank’s sister US government agency the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic) also participated in the signing.

The CPA established the Trade Bank on July 17, 2003 as an independent government entity created to facilitate the reconstruction of Iraq by providing trade financing services that Iraqi financial institutions are currently unable to offer. Initially, import transactions supported by the Trade Bank will consist of goods and services to fulfill the needs of the Iraqi Ministries and the CPA for the reconstruction of Iraq. These imports will be funded through the Development Fund of Iraq.