Cairo, Egypt, November 23, 2016—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, signed a Memorandum of Understanding
(MoU) today with Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading source of news and
information for professional markets, to help develop smaller businesses
in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and drive economic growth.
The MoU aims to help small and medium enterprises in MENA improve their
governance framework and boost access to finance, networks, skills, information,
and markets. Thomson Reuters already operates the Accelerate SME platform
in the region, which helps smaller businesses reach the information they
need to grow, while supporting SMEs through better access to finance and
advice is one of IFC’s strategic priorities in MENA.
Nadim Najjar, Managing Director, Middle East and North Africa, Thomson
Reuters, said: “This step confirms our commitment to build an ecosystem
that connects the different stakeholders and supports the growth of the
SME sector across the region. We recognize that today’s SMEs and entrepreneurs
are the success stories of the future. Thomson Reuters will leverage its
capabilities and provide powerful financial solutions, services, and workflows
to business owners that require end-to-end resources for expansion and
SMEs – a key driver of economic growth – represent about 80 percent of
all business in MENA countries, and make up close to 40 percent of employment
in some MENA markets.
As part of the agreement, IFC will connect Thomson Reuters to financial
institutions in its client base interested in signing up as providers on
the Accelerate SME platform. IFC will also promote the platform as part
of its range of advisory services in MENA. Both institutions also aim to
collaborate in facilitating and bolstering SME skills development.
“Small businesses form the backbone
of MENA economies and are a potentially bountiful source of job creation
and economic growth. But they often struggle to access financing and the
right information to grow their businesses,” said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC
Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “This partnership
with Thomson Reuters will help address some of those challenges to drive
growth in the region.”
During fiscal year 2016, IFC committed
over $1.3 billion in the MENA region, including $330 million in mobilization.
IFC’s advisory services approved 20 new projects with a total value of
over $21 million.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working
with 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our six decades of experience to
create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY16, our long-term investments
in developing countries rose to nearly $19 billion, leveraging our capital,
expertise and influence to help the private sector end extreme poverty
and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
Thomson Reuters is the world’s leading source of news and information
for professional markets. Our customers rely on us to deliver the intelligence,
technology and expertise they need to find trusted answers. The business
has operated in more than 100 countries for more than 100 years. Thomson
Reuters shares are listed on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.
For more information, visitwww.thomsonreuters.com.