The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Bank of Beirut and the Arab Countries (BBAC) have signed an agreement to help Lebanese corporates access global trade markets.

Under the agreement, the IFC and BBAC will help clients access new markets and expand existing ones. The deal is part of the IFC’s US$5bn global trade finance programme.

“No doubt this agreement with the IFC will reinforce confidence between our bank and foreign financial institutions, and will help us access markets that were previously beyond our reach, especially in the emerging economies where this facility is most needed,” says Ghassan Assaf, chairman and general manager of BBAC. “The IFC facility will therefore be a catalyst in promoting business in new markets, creating new business opportunities and generating growth for the economy.”

James Gohary, IFC regional manager of financial markets and private equity funds in the Middle East and North Africa, adds: “Trade is a key driver of global integration and domestic growth. For a vibrant private sector, the Middle East and North Africa region needs to be connected to global markets. This agreement will help Lebanese companies enter new markets, opening opportunities for business growth and spurring job creation.”