Berne Union and IFC Agree to scale up collaboration to boost global trade and investment

Washington, D.C./London, May 22, 2013—At a recent meeting in Washington, D.C., the Berne Union and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, agreed to scale up their collaboration to address the challenging environment for global trade and investment, in a coordinated effort to create new solutions and address shortfalls in financing faced by emerging market borrowers.

Amid continued market uncertainty, financial institutions face ongoing constraints in meeting the trade and export finance needs of developing countries, especially for longer credit terms. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop innovative, sustainable mechanisms to maintain financing for trade and investment in emerging and developing markets.

“Trade is an essential component of global economic growth and helps boost job creation in emerging markets,” said IFC Executive Vice President and CEO Jin-Yong Cai. “Exploring new ways to leverage our complementary capabilities can help unlock the benefits of trade in an uncertain global economic environment.”

Johan Schrijver, President of the Berne Union, said: “IFC and the Berne Union have tremendous potential to support global trade and investment by aligning our efforts and resources, including the significant risk capacity available from the Berne Union members.”

The Berne Union and IFC expect to leverage the synergies of their complementary capabilities to develop and implement practical and effective solutions to meet these urgent needs. Specific proposals will be considered during upcoming meetings of the joint Berne Union-IFC working group.

Members of the Berne Union annually support over 10 percent of global trade and investment through the use of credit and investment insurance. This risk capacity proved resilient throughout the global financial crisis of 2008-09 and has continued to grow, surpassing pre-crisis levels.

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group and the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector, has played a leading role in supporting trade flows to emerging markets through its trade finance programs, with its Global Trade Finance Program serving as its flagship. Moving with the changing times, IFC’s short-term finance product offerings have expanded to include the Global Trade Liquidity Program, which has won many awards for its crisis response, the Global Trade Supplier Finance Program, the Global Warehouse Finance Program, and the Critical Commodities Finance Program, as well as structured trade transactions.

About the Berne Union
The Berne Union (International Union of Credit & Investment Insurers) is the leading international association for the export credit and investment insurance industry. It works for cooperation and stability in cross-border trade by supporting the international acceptance of sound principles in export credits and foreign investments and by providing a forum for professional exchange among its members.

Members: The 76 members of the Berne Union, including the Berne Union Prague Club, covered over US$1.8 trillion worth of business in 2012, which is more than 10 percent of the world’s total cross-border trade. Members are both private companies, offering worldwide risk management solutions, and state backed export credit agencies, focusing on the support of national exports and outward investments.

Interaction: Members benefit from quality information exchange through several yearly meetings, seminars and workshops, and interactivity online. Exchanges focus on technical aspects of international trade, as well as developing and promoting best practices.

Links: The Berne Union has well established links with other organisations that play important roles in world trade including the ICC, IMF, OECD, World Bank Group, WTO and regional development banks.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than US$20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

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In London:
Peter Jones, Berne Union
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7841 1110
E-mail: pjones@berneunion.org

In Washington, D.C.:
Michael Kurdyla, IFC
Phone: +1 202 458 0033
E-mail: mkurdyla@ifc.org

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