Press Releases

IFC Supports Sustainable Energy Finance Initiatives for Economic Zones in Bangladesh

In Dhaka:
Shazia Ahmed
Phone: 0171-411-0580

Dhaka, Bangladesh, November 22, 2009—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is working with the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority to increase the availability of financing for businesses interested in investing in renewable energy or energy efficient projects.  

IFC hosted a seminar on sustainable energy finance last week, that brought together Bangladesh zone authorities and entrepreneurs operating within existing zones. The seminar included sessions on business and environment, the basics about climate change, opportunities and risks stemming from climate change impacts, and financing options for environment-friendly projects.

“We expect this seminar will generate enthusiasm for renewable energy and energy efficiency among our businesses,” said Mahbubur Rahman, member of the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority. “IFC can bring expertise in developing financial products suitable for zones.”  

The seminar was held in the Dhaka Export Processing Zone and will be followed by similar seminars in the Comilla and Chittagong export processing zones early next year.  

“Economic zones are ideal places to pilot sustainable energy initiatives because we can work with collective groups of like-minded entrepreneurs to help them find the right financing options to meet their needs,” said Roger Handberg, IFC Program Manager for Access to Finance.

The Bangladesh Investment Climate Fund, managed by IFC in partnership with the United Kingdom’s  Department for International Development and the European Commission, has a comprehensive program on environmental management in economic zones that aims to increase environmental compliance among businesses.

The SouthAsia Enterprise Development Facility, managed by IFC in partnership with DFID and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, is working with the Bangladesh Central Bank and private financial institutions to provide funds for green business investments. Bangladesh Bank recently created a refinancing mechanism to finance effluent treatment plants and biogas and solar projects, affording businesses financing at a lower interest rate.

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 increasing financing for renewable energy or energy efficient projects.

About IFC
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