Thimphu, Bhutan, December 1, 2009─Rashad
Kaldany, Vice President for Middle East and North Africa, East and South
Asia, and Global Infrastructure of IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
today met with Lyonchhen Jigmi Yoezer Thinley, Prime Minister of Bhutan,
to announce IFC’s commitment to the country’s private sector development.
IFC is opening an office in Thimphu,
Bhutan and will work closely with the International Bank for Reconstruction
to enable the private sector to take a more active role in the country’s
“IFC sees great potential in Bhutan.
We believe that the country can grow rapidly in the near future,” said
Kaldany. “I have offered IFC’s services and experience both as an advisor
to the government and as a financier to private sector, in developing infrastructure
projects especially in hydropower, air transportation, tourism, and telecommunications,”
said Kaldany, who also shared with the Prime Minister IFC’s ability to
help simplify regulation and improve the investment climate.
Kaldany also had meetings with Finance
Minister Lyonpo Wangdi Norbu and discussed IFC’s commitment to strengthening
the financial sector. He also met with private sector leaders to explore
opportunities for private sector projects.
Since Bhutan became an IFC member country
in 2003, IFC has made a $10 million investment in a hotel project and in
other important initiatives, including advice and training to local financial
institutions, feasibility studies for an IT park and industrial estates,
women entrepreneurship development programs, establishment of a knowledge
center, and promotion of an SME toolkit.
IFC also helped Bhutan’s state-owned
airline, Drukair, to complete a review for improving operational performance.
Many of the recommendations from the study are being implemented.
IFC Advisory Services and the World
Bank are working closely with the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan to
establish a nationwide electronic payments system. A comprehensive survey
of the small and medium enterprise sector in Bhutan is underway that will
be used by the government to develop the country’s SME strategy.
IFC is the only international financial
institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable
development in emerging markets. Along with IBRD, it is currently seeking
a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity for
the poor in developing countries—including by supporting private sector
projects in Bhutan.
To learn more about IFC’s activities in South Asia, visit www.ifc.org/southasia.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives.
We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting
private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory
and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments
totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing
countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.