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KARACHI: International Finance Corporation (IFC) is partnering with Bank AL Habib Limited, a long-term client, to support the import of essential goods and equipment into Pakistan and foster a sustainable recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

IFC is enhancing its trade facility to Bank AL Habib Limited to enable it to support the longer-term imports of capital goods—including vital equipment, machinery, and tools—under its Global Equipment Finance Facility (GEFF). Under the GEFF, IFC extends guarantees up to five years to selected partners for capital goods imports with the focus on climate change.

The project will enable Bank AL Habib Limited to issue a letter of credit for up to 37 months for the import of critical capital goods into Pakistan, which has been constrained because of the pandemic.

“We are thankful to be a long-term partner of IFC’s global trade finance program in Pakistan,” said Mansoor Ali Khan, CEO, Bank AL Habib Limited. “IFC’s support will enhance our existing trade limits to accommodate higher volumes of trade finance and extend our capacity to support the deliveries of vital capital goods to meet our clients’ import and business needs.”

Bank AL Habib Limited is a long-term partner in IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program (GTFP), which supports trade in emerging markets by providing partial or full guarantees against underlying trade instruments and covering the payment risk of participating issuing banks.

“Trade finance is essential to enable the flow of goods and services in and out of the country, which is vital to support businesses and sustain livelihoods,” said Khawaja Aftab Ahmed, IFC’s incoming regional director for Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan. “IFC’s support will enable our longstanding partner Bank AL Habib Limited to better support its clients importing critical goods in this challenging post-pandemic recovery period and help foster sustainable economic growth.”

IFC has supported trade worth around $200 billion in developing economies since 2005. Its GTFP commitments in Pakistan since inception stand at $4.77 billion, covering sectors including agriculture, chemicals, food and beverages, healthcare, energy, industrial products, telecoms, and textiles.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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