San Josť, November 27, 2018—Georgina
Baker, IFC Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean, will begin
a visit tomorrow to Costa Rica to discuss increasing private investment
in priority areas such as urban development, efficient and sustainable
transportation, clean energy, and wastewater treatment. She will meet with
President Carlos Alvarado and First Lady Claudia Dobles, as well as sign
a cooperation agreement with the Municipality of San Josť.
“Costa Rica has experienced tremendous growth over the last two decades
and has become a model of green development. We look forward to working
with the government and business community to expand the benefits to all,”
said Baker. “The private sector can bring much needed financing to help
create more affordable housing, better transportation options, and move
livable cities. In addition, addressing infrastructure needs through public-private
partnerships could help the Government of Costa Rica manage and prioritize
its public spending.”
Central to the discussions will be the increased use of public-private
partnerships, which can help improve the country’s infrastructure, including
more energy efficient transportation and urban mobility. Costa Rica derives
99 percent of its energy from renewable sources, but its transportation
is dependent on gasoline. About two-thirds of the country's energy-related
fossil fuel emissions come from transportation.
Luc Grillet, IFC Senior Manager for Central America and the Caribbean,
and other IFC executives will join the vice president.
Baker will sign a memorandum of understanding with San Josť Mayor Johnny
Araya Monge to establish a long-term strategic alliance with the city that
will include identifying and promoting infrastructure projects. First Lady
Dobles will join the meeting.
To boost private investment, Baker will also sign a memorandum of understanding
with Banco Nacional de Costa Rica, the country’s largest bank, to expand
local capital markets and promote public-private partnerships. This could
include promoting green bonds to provide new sources of financing for sustainable
infrastructure and energy projects. IFC recently issued a triple-A rated
local currency bond in Costa Rica’s domestic market, raising approximately
USD$10 million for on-lending to affordable housing.
During her visit, Baker, who oversees IFC investments in Europe and Central
Asia in addition to Latin America and the Caribbean, will meet with private
sector clients and business associations, including representatives of
the energy and financial sectors.
In Costa Rica, IFC has a $368 million investment portfolio in sectors such
as infrastructure, renewable energy, and financial markets. As part of
her first trip to Central America as Regional Vice President, Baker will
also visit Panama and Honduras, highlighting IFC’s commitment to the Central
American countries, where IFC has investments of $2.6 billion. Last year,
IFC’s clients in Central America supported 11,450 jobs, generated electricity
for 850,000 people, and provided $3.8 billion in financing for micro, small
and medium entrepreneurs.
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank
Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private
sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide,
using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities
in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more
than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging
the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared
prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org