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IFC and Flanders Establish Trust Fund to Support Private Sector Development in Emerging Markets


In Washington, DC
Andrea Engel
Phone: +1 (202) 458-1969
Email: aengel@ifc.org


Washington, D.C., March 4, 2007- IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement with the government of Flanders (Belgium) to establish a €2 million ($2.6 million) trust fund to help promote private sector growth in emerging markets.

Fientje Moerman, Vice Minister-President of the Flemish government and Minister for Economy, Enterprise, Science, Innovation, and Foreign Trade, remarked, “The Flemish Trust Fund’s special emphasis is on Malawi, Mozambique, and South Africa, countries that are important for Flanders' development policy. The fund is designed as an incentive for Flemish consultants to apply for assignments with IFC, and for Flemish suppliers and contractors to participate more in such projects. The Flemish government is very happy to become a part of IFC’s Trust Fund program."

Max Aitken, Chief of IFC's Partnerships and Donor Relations operations, added, “We are delighted to have Flanders join the more than 30 partners with which IFC cooperates to maximize our development impact. Partners such as Flanders are central to our being able to offer targeted advisory services around the world that have an important development impact on the ground.”

Through the trust fund, Flanders may support projects in all developing regions that IFC serves. Priority sectors include: the environment; industry and manufacturing; infrastructure, especially ports and airports; private sector development, especially support for small businesses; and water.

Opportunities created by the trust fund will be posted on the Flanders Investment and Trade Web site: www.flandersinvestmentandtrade.com. At least 50 percent of the fund will support consultants or firms from Flanders, and up to half of the remaining amount can be used to finance consultants from other regions or countries.

About IFC
IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, promotes open and competitive markets in developing countries.  IFC supports sustainable private sector companies and other partners in generating productive jobs and delivering basic services, so that people have opportunities to escape poverty and improve their lives. Through FY06, IFC Financial Products has committed more than $56 billion in funding for private sector investments and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC Advisory Services and donor partners have provided more than $1 billion in program support to build small enterprises, to accelerate private participation in infrastructure, to improve the business enabling environment, to increase access to finance, and to strengthen environmental and social sustainability. For more information, please visit www.ifc.org.

About IFC Trust Funds
IFC’s Trust Funds Program was launched in 1988 to provide funding mainly for one-time advisory services projects that help promote private sector development in client countries. Designed to complement IFC’s investments, these projects allow the Corporation to offer financial products combined with advisory services. Trust fund projects range from company-specific interventions, including feasibility studies and capacity-building training programs, to advisory services for governments. Since its inception, the program has supported over 1,500 projects in several sectors.  It now has funding agreements with 25 donor countries.

In Flanders
Frank Beckx
Spokesman for Minister Moerman, Government of Flanders
Phone: +32 (0)2 552-6110
Email: frank.beckx@vlaanderen.be