As part of its efforts to support small and medium-sized companies and facilitate their access to finance, raise the economic growth rates and create job opportunities in the Iraqi market, the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, signed a contract through which it would provide a financing package worth $10million to the National Bank of Iraq (NBI).
The contract was signed during a virtual meeting via WebEx technology, where the agreement was signed on behalf of the International Finance Corporation, the Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Beatrice Mazer, and on behalf of the National Bank of Iraq, its chairman, on behalf of Khalil Al-Salem. The meeting was attended by the Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq, Dr. Ali Al-Alaq, the Executive Director of the Association of Private Banks in Iraq, Ali Tariq, in addition to the Managing Director of the Iraqi National Bank, Ayman Abu Dehem, and representatives of the International Finance Corporation.
Under this contract, which will be a mixture of advisory services for a period of up to 9 months and concessional financing from the Small and Medium Enterprises Support Fund (GSMEF), the advisory team at the International Finance Corporation will help the National Bank of Iraq to develop and develop its areas of work related to small and medium enterprises, through Deep understanding of the financial needs of the sector, developing products and services specifically designed to leverage digital channels and implementing a robust credit risk management framework.
The Governor of the Central Bank, Dr. Ali Al-Alaq, congratulated this contract, describing it as a positive and important step through which the interest and support of the World Bank in general, and the International Finance Corporation in particular, would be translated to the banking sector in Iraq despite all the challenges it faces. He pointed out that the reality of the Iraqi economy today requires focusing all efforts on important segments and stimulating the economy through lending operations, with the target of moving small and medium enterprises.
Al-Alaq added that the International Finance Corporation’s choice of the National Bank of Iraq is a successful choice, due to the seriousness and professionalism the bank shows in management, the diversity and development of its products and services and its use of the latest technologies, saying: “We are proud of the efforts of the National Bank of Iraq, and we consider it as a partner and supporter in the process of banking development in Iraq. Where we are working in the Central Bank on permanent coordination with the management of the bank because of the vision, experience, and seriousness we have witnessed in the framework of banking operations.
Commenting on this agreement, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Bank of Iraq, Bassem Khalil Al-Salem, thanked the International Finance Corporation for this support provided to the bank, which is translated as evidence of the institution’s confidence in the Iraqi National Bank and the banking sector in Iraq, pointing out that this is the second financing agreement. Provided by the International Finance Corporation to the National Bank of Iraq.