The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed a trade finance agreement with the Bhutan National Bank.

The agreement was made under ADB’s Trade Finance Program (TFP), which provides loans and guarantees through banks to facilitate international trade in ADB’s developing member countries.

Through its partnership with over 180 banks around the world, ADB’s TFP has supported $4.3bn in trade since it started operating in 2004.

According to ADB, last year, the program supported $2bn in international transactions – half of which were between ADB’s developing member countries – and it expects to support around $2.5bn worth of international transactions this year.

ADB head of trade finance Steven Beck said that the trade finance agreement will help build up much-needed financing to companies, including small- and medium-sized enterprises, which will help Bhutan to diversify its economy and work more closely with other countries in the region.