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.
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 www.ifc.org.