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IFC Launches Services from Dubai to Promote Private Sector Development in the Region


In Cairo
Rania Abi Aad

Phone: +01 (202) 579 64 68

Email:
rabiaad@ifc.org


Dubai, UAE, March 14, 2005 – The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, yesterday formally opened its new office  in Dubai. The IFC office will provide investment and advisory services in support of private businesses in the Middle East.

A ceremony, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Deputy Ruler and Minister of Finance and Industry of the United Arab Emirates, marked  the opening of the new office.

“The decision to establish IFC’s office in the UAE comes as a result of the significant economic success achieved by the UAE over the years. The UAE boasts a sound and diversified economy, which has made it an attractive destination for regional and international economic activities. The IFC’s presence in the UAE is yet another testimony, from the international community, to the development of our private sector, the world-class infrastructure and logistics services offered.  It will also further enhance the role of the private sector in the region,” said His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Khalfan Bin Khirbash, UAE Minister of State for Finance and Industry, who attended the event.

The main objective of the Dubai office is to broaden and deepen IFC’s relationship with the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). This includes the provision of technical assistance to both the private and the public sector through the recently established Private Enterprise Partnership for the Middle East and North Africa, partnering with other institutions to enhance
the financial markets of the region, encouraging private investment in sectors traditionally financed by governments, such as power, water and infrastructure, and the development of strong contacts between IFC and corporations in the GCC with a view toward financing their investments in emerging markets worldwide.

“Opening an office in Dubai reflects continuing commitment to supporting private business in the region, whether helping small enterprises, developing the housing finance market, encouraging further privatization or developing  infrastructure projects,” said IFC Acting Executive Vice President Assaad Jabre.

“We believe that having IFC staff closer to our clients in the region will enable us to provide them with better service. It should also enable us to develop partnerships with the growing number of GCC companies that have regional and global ambitions where IFC can bring them the benefit of its global experience, its network of government and private sector relationships in emerging markets, its broad sectoral expertise and its array of financing and risk mitigation products,” Mr. Jabre added.


The IFC office in Dubai, headed by Regional Manager Mr. Azmat Taufique, will provide a wide range of services, including technical assistance, advisory services, targeted investment activities, and other support for private business.


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. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.