Washington, DC., December 9, 2004— Peter
Woicke, head of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Managing
Director of the World Bank Group, is visiting Brazil December 7-9, 2004.
IFC is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group and promotes
sustainable private sector investments in developing countries. With a
$1.1 billion portfolio, Brazil is the largest IFC client in Latin America
During his visit to Brazil, Mr. Woicke is meeting IFC clients in the private
sector to discuss challenges for Brazilian corporates in the global economy,
and trends toward increasing South-to-South investments, an area in which
Brazilian companies are at the vanguard in the region. Part of Mr. Woicke’s
agenda includes discussions on the main drivers of corporate social responsibility
in Brazil, a core aspect of IFC’s sustainability approach.
Mr. Woicke’s itinerary includes a visit to Brasilia to exchange views
with government officials on the direction of the Brazilian
economy and on the country’s private sector development priorities. These
meetings are crucial for a better understanding of how IFC can continue
making a positive contribution to Brazil’s sustainable development and
economic growth. Peter Woicke’s last visit to Brazil was in February 2003.
In recent years, IFC has been crucial in providing much needed long-term
finance to Brazilian enterprises, and in supporting trade finance facilities
for export companies, at a time when flows of international capital declined
and economic growth slowed down.
Today, as capital flows are returning, IFC is focused on enhancing the
prospects for Brazil’s competitiveness and economic growth. IFC
has strengthened its role as long-term finance provider in particular to
Brazilian exporters, including manufacturers, agribusiness and other natural
resources based companies, as well as supporting Brazilian companies investing
abroad to develop a regional or global platform.
IFC has supported and will continue to support the development of
a more competitive, and efficient infrastructure under a range of public
private sector partnership structures in power, ports and roads which
are necessary to support the export sector
IFC is stepping up its initiative on corporate, environmental and social
responsibility, in addition to continue supporting access of Brazilian
banks and companies to international financial markets. Brazilian entities
that have received IFC’s financing in recent years include the following:
Banco Real ABN AMRO, Cibrasec, Odebrecht, Microinvest, Comgas, Tecon Rio
Grande, Fleury, Amaggi, among others. Technical assistance projects and
grants include sponsoring a project with Instituto Ethos to encourage private
sector participation in the Fome Zero program, and grants to Poema, Instituto
Terra, Sebrae, and Odebrecht AIDS program. IFC was a key sponsor of the
development of the rules for listing companies under the of Bovespa’s
Novo Mercado. The Novo Mercado provides listing for companies that adhere
to higher corporate governance standards.
Since his appointment as IFC’s top official back in January 1999, Peter
Woicke has been leading IFC towards a more decentralized and client-oriented
model with a stronger commitment to sustainability and a broader dialogue
with all stakeholders involved in private sector development in emerging
Last year, 10 top international banks adopted IFC’s environmental and
social standards for their project finance activities in emerging markets.
The set of standards adopted by these banks, with IFC’s guidance, is known
as the Equator Principles. Today, 27 banks have adopted these principles,
and their activity accounts for almost 85 percent of all project finance
in the developing world. This is a great step –and also a recognition
of IFC’s leadership in sustainability. The first 3 domestic banks in the
world to adopt the Equator Principles were all Brazilian.
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 FY03, IFC has committed more than $37
billion of its own funds and arranged $22 billion in syndications for 2,990
companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio
as of FY03 was $16.8 billion for its own account and $6.6 billion held
for participants in loan syndications.