Press Releases

IFC Vice President Visits Costa Rica, Promotes Private Investment in Urban Development, Green Energy and Transportation

In Washintgon, D.C.:
Vanessa Bauza, IFC

Phone: +1-202-458-1603


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.

About IFC

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

Stay Connected