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IFC and ABN-Amro sign $80 million 'Trade Enhancement Facility' deal

KARACHI (February 11 2003) : The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and ABN-Amro on Monday have singed a 80 million dollars “Trade Enhancement Facility” designed to help importers and exporters with financing to import capital goods and raw materials.

It was the renewed facility for which the initiative was taken in the year 2000 in a difficult situation when Pakistan was facing sanctions after nuclear test, said Country Manger of ABN-Amro Bank Naved Khan.

The three year revolving facility will give business in Pakistan better access of credit confirmations by guaranteeing documentary credits originated by selected commercial banks.

The facility will initially include five banks of Pakistan- ABN Amro Pakistan, Askari Bank, Metropolitan Bank Ltd, Soneri Bank and Union Bank. The IFC will guarantee 50 percent of each transaction.

Metropolitan Bank Ltd and Union Bank are the two new banks in the consortium for the IFC facility.

“This facility is the first of its kind after sanctions on Pakistan and after the incident of September 11,” said Naved Khan.

He said that the earlier facility was used by 65 to 70 percent and hope for more utilisation of the renewed facility this year.

IFC representatives expressed their hope for better utilisation of the facility extended by the IFC and said that Pakistan did well during the Asian economic crisis.

Sami Haddad, Director of the Middle East and North Africa region, in a message said; “Given the various adverse external shocks, it is particularly important to maintain trade flows as they contribute significantly to the level of economic activity in Pakistan.

IFC is also considering participating in other projects that will help strengthen Pakistan's economy and restore investors confidence.”

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