Press Releases

IFC Promotes Public-Private Partnerships to Improve Pakistan’s Infrastructure Services

In Pakistan
Moazzam Ahmed  
Phone: +92 (300) 500-1731

In Dubai

Moazzam Mekan
Phone: +97 (1) 4360-1027

Islamabad, March 22, 2007—Lars Thunell, head of IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, today signed an advisory agreement with Pakistan’s Ministry of Finance to assist the Infrastructure Project Development Facility in implementing public-private partnership projects in priority sectors.   IPDF, a registered company owned by the government of Pakistan and managed by the Ministry of Finance, was set up to develop and promote such partnerships.

IPDF identifies, develops, and executes infrastructure projects that can be structured as PPPs.  “These public private partnerships are a tested business model that can meet the needs of a rapidly growing economy,” said Thunell. “Infrastructure development is our primary focus in Pakistan because power, transport and other basic services to local people and businesses are vital for job creation and economic growth.”

According to the agreement, IFC will assist in selecting, managing, and executing these projects, and will act as a lead transaction advisor, using specialized experts for each of the projects.  IFC Advisory Services has an impressive record in public-private partnerships, having been involved in over 100 projects in 67 countries.  The Corporation’s experience, and the sharing of that knowledge with IPDF, will eventually allow IPDF to develop internal transaction teams that will work on these projects independently.  

Dr. Salman Shah, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance, said, “Public-private partnerships represent a paradigm shift in the financing of infrastructure projects in Pakistan, and they are going to play a vital role in supporting the country’s infrastructure needs. Working with IFC will help address infrastructure bottlenecks and deficits in the country by reducing the dependence on government financing. Better infrastructure will reduce the cost of doing business for the private sector and improve competitiveness. We value our ongoing collaboration with IFC, a provider of equity, debt, and advisory services, and we look forward to a long-term and broad-based partnership.”

Thunell signed the agreement during his first visit to Pakistan since joining IFC in January 2006. The visit highlights IFC’s continuing commitment to its well-established partnership with Pakistan as well as to private sector development, poverty reduction, and employment creation throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Thunell met with government officials and private sector representatives.  He was accompanied by Michael Essex, IFC Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

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

About IPDF

The Infrastructure Project Development Facility was established with the support of Pakistan’s Ministry of Finance to structure a comprehensive public-private partnership program in Pakistan. It assists implementing agencies (federal, provincial, and local governments) in developing infrastructure projects that require private sector participation.  IPDF will develop internal capacity to support identified projects.