Port Moresby, August 27, 2007 – IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is sponsoring a conference in Papua New
Guinea for key stakeholders to share information on providing financial
services to all, particularly undeserved markets to promote sustainable
development. This will help increase access to remittances, payment services
and insurance, savings and credit in the Pacific Islands.
The conference will be held August 27-31,
2007, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel during the Pacific Microfinance Week. An
initiative of Microfinance Pasifika Network, the conference will be organized
by the Foundation for Development Cooperation, the PNG Institute of Banking
and Business Management, and the Microfinance Competence Center.
The event, sponsored by IFC Advisory
Services for the Pacific – PEP-Pacific – will bring together
donors, banks, Microfinance Pasifika members, microfinance institutions,
and other supporters to network and share experiences. A series of workshops
and presentations will address issues related to microfinance, including
technology, linkages and partnerships, asset building for the poor, and
the role of central banks and governments. Key Presentations will include
microfinance and financial inclusion in Papua New Guinea as well as financial
markets infrastructure, with an emphasis on credit bureaus.
“The week provides the Pacific microfinance
community in the Pacific with a unique opportunity to exchange views and
experiences. They will learn about global best practices and how microfinance
trends affect the region,” said Brigit Helms, IFC Sector Leader for Access
to Finance. “More importantly, this will enable participants to identify
a few regional priorities to work on collectively.”
Helms will make the keynote address.
Other IFC representatives will be Robert Simms, PEP-Pacific Acting General
Manager; Peter Cusack, PNG Country Coordinator; and Tony Lythgoe and Peter
Sheerin, IFC Credit Bureau and Risk Management Advisors, Global Financial
“IFC is pleased to be a lead sponsor
of the conference. We believe it will benefit the growing number of microfinance
practitioners in the region,” said Richard Ranken, IFC Director for East
Asia and Pacific. “Our support reflects the importance that we attach
to achieving financial inclusion in the Pacific.”
IFC is committed to building strong
commercial microfinance institutions that drive entrepreneurship. Over
the past 10 years, the Corporation has achieved industry leadership in
microfinance by financing 128 projects in 47 countries.
Figures from 2006 indicate that IFC’s
microfinance activities made a difference to the lives of about 3.5 million
entrepreneurs. IFC’s clients in the sector had a combined loan portfolio
of $5.6 billion. In fiscal 2007, the microfinance unit disbursed over $180
million, pushing the Corporation’s microfinance portfolio to the $600
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing
private sector investment, mobilizing capital in the international financial
markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments.
IFC’s vision is that poor people have the opportunity to escape poverty
and improve their lives. In FY06, IFC committed $8.3 billion, including
syndications, to 248 investments in 66 developing countries. For more information,
please visit www.ifc.org.
About IFC PEP-Pacific
The IFC Private Enterprise Partnership
for the Pacific is a multidonor initiative managed and funded by IFC. Other
donors include Australia, Japan, and New Zealand. Its primary objective
is poverty reduction through employment-generating, sustainable private
sector development. Programs focus on access to finance, tourism,
and business climate development. The initiative works with partners
to strengthen and stimulate small and medium enterprises, helping create
jobs, raise living standards, and alleviate poverty. It serves IFC
member countries in the Pacific, including Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands,
Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon
Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, and Vanuatu.