Press Releases

IFC, Switzerland Sign Agreement to Strengthen Corporate Governance and Promote Jobs Growth

In Washington, D.C.:
Meera Louis
Phone: (202) 473-6983

Washington, D.C., April 11, 2014—Switzerland today agreed to contribute up to $18 million to IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, to help strengthen corporate governance practices in emerging markets and contribute to a partnership effort to create more and better jobs.

The Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs, or SECO, will provide up to $16.6 million to IFC’s Advisory Services in East Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Sub-Saharan Africa, to help private sector companies work with greater transparency, accountability, and operational efficiency, in close collaboration with the World Bank. Strong corporate governance practices help businesses expand their access to capital and enter new markets. Activities will include training for organizations such as institutes of directors and advising companies directly.

"The recent financial crisis is also a reminder of the global implications of corporate governance failure, ‘’ said State Secretary Marie Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch. "Together with IFC we want to set the right governance benchmarks when supporting the private sector in development."

SECO also agreed to contribute $1.5 million to the IFC-coordinated Let’s Work global partnership, which implements the findings of the 2013 IFC Jobs Study, which identified key constraints to job creation in developing countries. The partnership includes international financial institutions, partners from development agencies, and the private sector.

“A job is the surest path out of poverty, and the private sector provides nine out of every 10 jobs,” said Jin-Yong Cai, IFC’s Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer. ”IFC’s partnership with SECO will support companies’ efforts to grow and create jobs while mitigating risks in the most effective ways.”

Cooperation between Switzerland and IFC Advisory Services dates back to 1989. Over the last five years, SECO’s support has totaled $184.5 million.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit

About SECO:
The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) is Switzerland's competence center for all core issues relating to economic policy. Its Economic Cooperation and Development Division is responsible for the planning and implementation of economic cooperation and development activities with middle income developing countries, with countries of Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (transition countries). Through its interventions, SECO seeks to ease its partner countries' integration into the world economy and promote economic growth that is socially as well as environmentally responsible and climate-friendly. For more information, please visit

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