June 1

Press Release: IFC and Interbank Partner to Boost Trade and Strengthen Trade Finance in Burundi

Interbank Burundi has joined IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program (GTFP) to support the growth of trade finance, counter foreign exchange shortages and support regional trade.

The $5 million trade finance facility guarantee announced today for Interbank will help strengthen the bank’s trade finance operations and assist in developing new trade partnerships for businesses in Burundi. The trade line is part of IFC’s $1 billion African Trade and Supply Chain Finance Program (ATRI), which is supporting Africa’s regional trade development, helping to reduce the continent’s reliance on imports and reducing the trade finance gap, which was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The trade facility is also IFC’s first GTFP-backed facility in the country since 2016 and will complement IFC’s advisory project with Interbank, which is supporting the bank increase financial access to small businesses in Burundi.

“The above agreement will allow the bank to help local companies increase their imports and exports, generate much-needed foreign exchange for the country, and create employment. Through the GTFP bank network, the bank will establish working partnerships with a vast number of international banks in the Program that can broaden access to finance and generate business opportunities,” said Eric Jonckheere, Interbank’s CEO.

“Trade plays a key role in driving growth, and trade finance is essential for trade to happen. By partnering with Interbank through IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program, we can enable more businesses to access the financing they need to grow and reach new markets,” said Malick Fall, IFC’s Country Manager for Burundi, Republic of Congo and the DRC.

The GTFP extends and complements the capacity of banks to deliver trade financing by providing risk mitigation in new or challenging markets where trade lines may be constrained. In financial year 2022, IFC issued $3 billion in guarantees in Africa under the Program.

Through the GTFP bank network, local financial institutions can establish working partnerships with a vast number of major international banks in the Program that can broaden access to finance and reduce cash collateral requirements. This enables the continued flow of trade credit into the market at a time when imports may be critical, and the country’s exports can generate much-needed foreign exchange.

IFC is committed to supporting Burundi’s Vision 2025 Development Plan, which is focused on unlocking private sector-led growth and aims to position Burundi as a regional hub for trade, logistics, transportation, and communication. IFC’s work in Burundi includes increasing access to finance for small businesses, boosting trade and supporting the development of the country’s agribusiness sector.

Source: International Finance Corporation (link opens in a new window)

Agriculture, Finance
development finance, international trade, MSMEs