Press Releases
print

IFC Strengthens Presence in Papua New Guinea to Support Private Sector Development


In Sydney:
Sara King
Phone: (+612) 9235-6524
E-mail: sking@ifc.org


Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, February 2, 2011—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today signed an agreement with Papua New Guinea to establish an IFC office locally that will pave the way for IFC to expand its activities in support of the country’s private sector, helping create opportunities and reduce poverty.  

Since establishing a presence in Papua New Guinea in 2006, IFC has operated under the banner of the World Bank, its sister organization.  The establishment agreement allows IFC to open its own office.

“Enabling private companies and businesses to grow and thrive is an important part of Papua New Guinea’s long-term development strategy and IFC can play an important role in this process,” said Peter O’Neil, Papua New Guinea’s Minister of Finance.  “The government officially welcomes IFC and looks forward to continue working together to develop our country’s private sector.”

Over the last five years, IFC has increased its business focus in Papua New Guinea and its resource commitments, financed directly by IFC and its long-term development partners—Australia, Japan, and New Zealand.  IFC’s commitments grew from $1.2 million in fiscal 2005 to more than $200 million in fiscal 2010.  Investees include PNG Microfinance Ltd, Port Moresby-based Bank South Pacific, mobile phone operator Digicel PNG, and KK Kingston.

"IFC is committed to helping create opportunity and improve peoples' lives in Papua New Guinea," Lars Thunell, IFC Executive Vice President and CEO, told government officials, development partners, private sector representatives, and the media.  "The new office and our operations in the country will create closer ties with our local partners to help make the private sector the engine of development in rural areas and among small and midsize companies."

IFC’s primary objectives in Papua New Guinea are to improve services and create opportunities through the private sector, particularly in rural areas, and increase access to finance to stimulate direct and indirect private sector investment.  IFC is assigning additional staff to manage its business activities in Papua New Guinea and recently appointed Resident Representative Carolyn Blacklock to oversee its operations.  

“IFC is committed to helping create opportunity and improve peoples’ lives in Papua New Guinea,” Lars Thunell, IFC Executive Vice President and CEO, told government officials, development partners, private sector representatives, and the media at Wednesday’s gathering.  “The new office and our operations in the country will create closer ties with our local partners to help make the private sector the engine of development in rural areas and among small and midsize companies.”

IFC also is advising the government on improving the financial infrastructure to ensure greater access to financial services, and is reforming the regulatory regime to improve business licensing and registration processes.  In addition, IFC is helping introduce alternate dispute resolution, which is clearing the backlog of business-related disagreements in the courts.  

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and provide essential services, mobilizing capital from others, and delivering advisory and risk-management services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.