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DBS and IFC Launch $500 Million Facility to Empower Trade in Emerging Markets

In a groundbreaking move set to redefine the landscape of trade finance in emerging markets, DBS Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) have unveiled a $500 million program aimed at bolstering trade flows across Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. This initiative not only highlights the critical role of trade finance in economic development but also addresses the persistent financing gaps that hinder the growth potential of these regions.

The Genesis of a Groundbreaking Initiative

Founded in 1968, DBS has grown to become a leading financial services group in Asia, with a presence in 18 markets. It’s a bank at the forefront of leveraging digital technology to drive banking transformation. The IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, was established in 1956 and has since been a principal catalyst for private sector development in emerging markets. Together, DBS and IFC’s collaboration is a testament to their commitment to facilitating economic growth and sustainable development.

A $500 Million Milestone

The partnership between DBS and IFC is marked by a $500 million facility designed to enhance capital and trade flows in emerging markets. This facility is a balanced risk-sharing arrangement, with DBS and IFC each underwriting half of the portfolio of trade-related assets. This strategic move is poised to amplify DBS’s capacity to extend more trade financing, such as letters of credit, to businesses engaging with counterparts in emerging markets, thereby streamlining the process and managing risks more effectively.

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A New Frontier in Trade Finance: DBS and IFC's Strategic Push into Emerging Economies
Key Highlights of the Program:
  • Risk Sharing: Equal risk distribution on trade-related assets up to $500 million.
  • Climate Focus: Allocation of 20% of the facility towards climate-eligible trade transactions, including renewable energy and climate-smart agriculture.
  • Strategic Impact: Aims to bridge the trade finance gap exacerbated by economic uncertainties, particularly affecting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Overcoming Challenges and Seizing Opportunities

Despite the pivotal role of trade finance in fostering global commerce and development, a significant gap persists, especially in emerging markets. This gap has been further widened by recent economic volatilities, placing SMEs at a disadvantage. The DBS-IFC facility not only seeks to mitigate these challenges but also to harness the untapped potential of these markets, promoting inclusivity and sustainability in global trade practices.

The Road Ahead: A Vision for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth

The collaboration between DBS and IFC is a forward-looking initiative that promises to set a new benchmark for trade finance in emerging markets. By addressing the critical financing needs of these regions, the program is expected to catalyze economic growth, support SMEs, and contribute to the achievement of broader development goals. Moreover, the emphasis on climate-eligible transactions underscores a shared commitment to environmental sustainability, aligning economic objectives with the global agenda for a greener future.


The $500 million trade finance program launched by DBS and IFC is a significant step towards bridging the financing gap in emerging markets, fostering economic growth, and promoting sustainable development. As this initiative unfolds, it will undoubtedly pave the way for more innovative solutions to the challenges facing global trade finance, setting a precedent for future collaborations aimed at creating a more inclusive and sustainable economic landscape.

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