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
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.
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