Washington, D.C., June 7, 2005—The government
of Malta has completed requirements to become the 178th member of the International
Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group.
“We are pleased to welcome Malta as a member, and we look forward to developing
strong partnerships with Maltese private companies as we seek to support
sustainable private sector investments in developing and transition countries
and in particular, in the Mediterranean region,” said Assaad Jabre, IFC’s
Acting Executive Vice President and Vice President of Operations.
The Articles of Agreement of IFC were signed on behalf of the government
of Malta by H. E. John Lowell, Ambassador of Malta to the United States,
who commented, “I am convinced that Malta’s membership of the IFC will
be a positive experience. Not only will Malta be better placed to contribute
to economic initiatives in less developed countries, but we will also benefit
from partnership between Maltese companies and IFC in emerging markets.”
A new member of the European Union, Malta provides a link between Europe
and the emerging markets on or near the Mediterranean. Maltese companies
are particularly helping catalyze private sector development in the Middle
East and North Africa. IFC is an active player in this region with commitments
of $236 million in FY04. This makes the corporation a natural cooperation
partner for Malta’s foreign direct investors, especially in the financial
and tourism sectors. Maltese institutions can also benefit from IFC’s
newly established Global Trade Finance Program, which supports trade with
emerging markets worldwide.
The mission of IFC (www.ifc.org)
is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries,
helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private
sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international
financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability,
and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.
From its founding in 1956 through FY04, IFC has committed more than $44
billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications for 3,143
companies in 140 developing countries.