LAHORE - The International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, has announced the Allied Bank Limited has become the first bank worldwide to join IFC's sustainability finance facility, which issues trade guarantees involving cleaner and more energy-efficient equipment. According to a press release issued on Wednesday, IFC will issue substantial guarantees against Allied Bank's underlying trade transactions, covering payment risk and helping increase Pakistan's global trade volumes. Under the sustainability finance facility, a part of IFC's Global Trade Finance Programme, banks can seek coverage for trade transactions involving goods that satisfy IFC's sustainability eligibility guideliens. Today's agreement was signed by IFC CEO and Executive Vice-President Lars Thunell and Mr Muhammad Aftab Manzoor, CEO of ABL, Pakistan's through this alliance with IFC, we will provide our trade customers with greater choice, while ensuring ABL is better postioned in terms of future growth opportunities. I look forward to a collaborative and fruitful relationship going forward. Aftab Manzoor President and CEO of ABL, said "We are pleased to join IFC's Global Trade Finance Programme and see this as part of our long term strategic partnership with IFC. The sustainability finance facility is an innovative idea. It will not only ensure special attention on sustainability finance but will also help ABL carve out a niche by developing sustainability finance as a separate line of business." Lars H. Thunell, IFC's CEO and Executive Vice President, said, "increasing access to finance and addressing sustainability finance and climate change remain at the core of IFC's strategy. The sustainability finance facility will break new ground for sustainability finance and help businesses obtain the equipment they need to become more sustainable and energy efficient."