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IFC invests in farming, education in Asia

 New investments and advisory projects of the International Finance Corp. (IFC) in East Asia and the Pacific region are expected to improve opportunities for close to 130,000 farmers and provide access to better education and health services for 1.2 million people.

The IFC in a statement revealed that its projects also aim to increase access to loans and other financial services for about 5.4 million micro, small, and medium enterprises in East Asia and the Pacific.

It said that in the fiscal year 2012, its investment in the region reached a total of $2.9 billion or 71 projects with an emphasis on those countries and markets most in need.

IFC noted that of the total investments during the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2012, $2.55 billion were for the lender’s own account, up 30 percent from last year, and $376 million were mobilized from commercial banks and other sources.

“Our work this past fiscal year resulted in strong development impact. In particular, we succeeded in helping to provide financing for small and medium enterprises that are the backbone of many economies in East Asia and the Pacific,” said Sérgio Pimenta, IFC director for East Asia and Pacific.

Overall, the lender reported that it spent $28.3 million on its advisory projects in East Asia and the Pacific, or about 5 percent more than in fiscal year 2011.

“Going forward, we will put an even greater emphasis on strengthening commerce between emerging markets, so-called South-South investments, as they are critical to generating economic growth and tapping new sources of funds,” Pimenta added.

Meanwhile, for the fiscal year 2013, IFC said that it will also step up its efforts to mobilize capital from commercial banks and other financial institutions, and increase its financing and advice for climate-friendly projects.

The lender has opened two new offices in the region, extending its reach to support private sector development and create opportunities for people.

In September 2011, it inaugurated its office in Singapore to draw on the city-state’s knowledge and expertise in urban and infrastructure development.

In August of this year, IFC opened its Yangon office to support Myanmar’s economic reforms, as well as focusing on improving the regulatory framework to improve the country’s business climate, supporting its nascent banking and microfinance industry, and helping to develop the infrastructure sector.

IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. 

Source: Manila Times


International Finance Corp. (IFC)