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Managing Director of The World Bank and IFC’s Top Official Visits Brazil


In Washington DC:
Adriana Gomez

Phone: +(202) 458 5204

Email:
agomez@ifc.org

Corrie Shanahan

Phone: +(202) 473 2258

Email:
cshanahan@ifc.org


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 and worldwide.

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 markets.


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.