Blantyre, Malawi, November 10, 2010
– IFC Executive Vice President and CEO, Lars Thunell, said today that
IFC is committed to doing more to help Malawi strengthen its economy, especially
by supporting smaller businesses and the agriculture sector, and congratulated
the country on its successful efforts to make it easier to do business
in the country.
During his first visit to Malawi as IFC Vice President, Thunell had scheduled
visits with government ministers, and IFC clients and partners in the agribusiness,
telecommunications, and financial services sectors. He also visited a maize
mill manufacturer and juice producer, highlighting IFC’s support of Malawi’s
“IFC is backing Malawi’s efforts to strengthen and reform its private
sector so it can maintain recent strong economic growth,” Thunell said.
“We are committed to helping smaller businesses in the country grow and
to supporting Malawi’s agriculture sector, which is a major source of
employment. I congratulate Malawi for recent regulatory changes making
it easier to do business in the country.”
Thunell visited Malawi’s NBS Bank, which, with IFC’s support, established
a lending program that has supported hundreds of business in the country
with increased access to finance. By early 2010, women had benefitted from
468 NBS loans worth more than $1.5 million.
IFC is supporting Malawi’s efforts to reform and improve its business
environment by providing advisory services to the country’s public and
private sectors. Malawi was the world’s top reformer in improving contract
enforcement according to the World Bank Group’s 2011 Doing Business Report,
which ranks countries around the world on the ease of doing business.
IFC has a portfolio of US$33.7 million in Malawi spread across agribusiness,
telecommunication and financial services. IFC’s strategy in Malawi is
to support access to finance for smaller businesses, help the government
in its efforts to improve the investment climate, and to support other
important sectors, primarily agribusiness.
While in Africa, Thunell also visited Zambia, where he met with private
sector partners and government officials.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global 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 supply
essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering
advisory 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.