KARACHI: International Finance Corporation launched an Supply Chain Finance advisory services engagement with Bank Alfalah Limited, to help boost access to finance for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), spurring economic growth. Mehreen Ahmed (Group Head, Retail Banking, Bank Alfalah) said this partnership will help Bank Alfalah build and launch a best practice Supply Chain Finance proposition to grow its SME Banking business. “Supply chain finance programs present a viable commercial business use case for lending to MSME sector in a structured manner. With the advent of disruptive digital technologiesin the banking space, synergies can be developed to digitize big data usage, and its application in underwriting SME-specific product programs, procedures, and digital delivery channels.” said Ahmed. “IFC will leverage its global experience and local knowledge to help Bank Alfalah adopt best practices in Supply Chain Finance,” said Rachel Freeman Manager IFC Financial Institutions Group East Asia and PacificThe agreement is part of ongoing efforts by the World Bank Group to boost financial inclusion globally and achieve universal financial access by 2020. Pakistan is a priority country for IFC. During the last three years,IFC has ramped up its investments and Advisory-services work in the country, helping to support the development of Pakistan’s private sector.The organization has focused on mobilizing investments in power and infrastructure, and providing access to finance to micro, small and medium enterprises through financial intermediaries. Published in Daily Times, March 27th 2018.