visit El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua, May 3-6, 2005
San Salvador, El Salvador, Monday May 3, 2004.—Peter Woicke, head
of the International Finance Corporation and Managing Director of the World
Bank, arrived today in El Salvador for a four-day visit to Central America
that will include Honduras and Nicaragua.
“My return to Central America underlines the importance IFC attaches to
its partnership with this region,” said Mr. Woicke. He added, “IFC
wants to support
Central American countries as they work to increase their competitiveness
in the face of accelerating globalization. IFC’s support comes at a key
moment, as the recently signed Central America Free Trade Agreement is
creating new opportunities and challenges for the private sector and the
governments of the region,” he noted.
IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank, promotes sustainable private
sector enterprise in developing countries. IFC makes loans and equity investments
in private sector projects, mobilizes finance from global capital markets,
helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides
investment advisory services to governments.
During his visit, Mr. Woicke will meet top government officials, IFC’s
current and potential clients, and key players in civil society, to exchange
views on how IFC can help Central American countries reach their development
goals and build a vibrant, responsible, and competitive private sector.
Mr. Woicke’s last visit took place in June 1999.
In El Salvador, Mr. Woicke will meet President-Elect Antonio Saca. He will
visit IFC clients and prospective partners, including Banco Agricola, Banco
Cuscatlán, Pro Credit El Salvador (previously known as Calpia) , Grupo
Poma and other key private sector players. He will also meet with local
and regional NGOs as part of IFC’s dialogue with stakeholders on the social
and environmental impact of economic development.
In Honduras, Mr. Woicke will meet President Ricardo Maduro, other government
officials, and IFC partner CABEI.
In Nicaragua, he will meet President Enrique Bolaños and the president
of the Central Bank, Mr. Mario Alonso. He will also visit, Pro Credit
Nicaragua (previously known as Confia) and other key private sector players.
IFC's strategy in Central America focuses on encouraging economic growth,
particular by developing the region’s financial and physical infrastructure
and supporting competitive manufacturing and services companies.
IFC's investment in financial institutions in Central America is key to
IFC’s strategy to promote the region’s financial integration and increase
the depth and soundness of its financial systems. Other priorities include
promoting access to term financing by micro, small and medium enterprises;
supporting competitive firms in agriculture, industry and services; and
promoting investments from other Latin American countries into Central
IFC's committed financing in Latin America and the Caribbean amounted to
$2.18 billion in fiscal 2003 for 54 projects over 16 countries, its highest
level of investment in any region.
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. From its founding in 1956 through 2003, 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 2003 was $16.8 billion for its own account and $6.6 billion
held for participants in loan syndications.