Press Releases

Qatar Joins IFC as 181st Member Country

In Washington, D.C.:
Elizabeth Price

Phone: 001 (202) 458-0387

In the Middle East and North Africa:
Riham Mustafa
Phone: 002- 0102247482

Washington, D.C., October 11, 2008—Lars Thunell, Executive Vice President and CEO of IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Youssif Hussain Kamal, Qatar’s Minister of Finance, today signed the Articles of Agreement for Qatar to become IFC’s 181st  member country. IFC’s member countries provide its share capital and collectively determine its policies.

“We look forward to partnering with Qatar to support private sector growth in the Middle East and North Africa and create much needed jobs. We intend to work with Qatari companies and businesses that want to expand into less developed countries within the region and further overseas,” said Thunell during the signing ceremony at the 2008 World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund Annual Meetings.

The Middle East and North Africa is strategically important for IFC. One of IFC’s main objectives in the region is to encourage capital flows, particularly from Gulf Cooperation Council countries to neighboring countries. In fiscal 2008, IFC’s investments in the region increased to $1.4 billion for 50 projects in 12 countries. IFC also increased its expenditure for advisory services to more than $22 million, up substantially from $5.7 million three years ago.

During fiscal 2008, IFC focused on mobilizing private investment in infrastructure, providing access to finance for the underserved, supporting the development of smaller businesses, and assisting private sector development in less developed and conflict-affected countries. IFC’s activities in the region have generated tangible development results, including loans of $3.6 billion to smaller businesses this year, nearly tripling the volume from 2005.  

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 $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, visit