Barcelona, April 2, 2007 – IFC,
the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, participated in the World
Retail Congress, sharing its perspective on the increasing opportunities
for investment in the retail sector of emerging markets. The congress,
on March 28-30 in Barcelona, Spain, gathered the top leaders in the industry
from across the globe.
“There is a tremendous business opportunity
for retailers in emerging market nations, where incomes are rising and
demand for consumer goods is growing. At the same time, the development
of the retail sector in these nations will help create wealth and broader
economic growth, further deepening the demand for goods,” said Dimitris
Tsitsiragos, IFC’s Director of Global Manufacturing and Services.
Tsitiragos participated in the opening
session of the congress as keynote speaker, along with industry leading
players, including Sir Terry Leahy, CEO of Tesco; Motoya Okada, President
of AEON; Jim O’Neill, Global Head of Economic Research, Goldman Sachs
International; and Ken Sumoner, Acting CEO, Visa International.
IFC (the International Finance Corporation)
brings retail sector knowledge, regional expertise, and leadership in sustainability
to benefit companies as they uncover the strong potential in these markets.
IFC also offers a diverse range of financial solutions and products.
The major private sector source of financing
in emerging markets, IFC entered the retail sector in 1994. Since then,
the Corporation has financed 33 retail projects in 15 emerging economies,
including China, Russia, and Turkey. Its current portfolio in the
retail industry is close to $600 million.
IFC’s investments in the retail sector
in emerging markets include:
(Russia): IFC has completed four investments since 1998 totaling $170 million
for development of shopping centers anchored by Ramstore hypermarkets.
(Argentina): Equity investment of $40 million in 2003 in financing the
$315 million sale of Disco supermarket chain to Royal Ahold.
(China): In 2003, IFC invested $6.3 million equity in the IPO of this Beijing-based
In addition to the opening address,
IFC hosted a roundtable discussion with the delegation from China, to explore
opportunities to tap into the nation’s massive purchasing power potential,
while creating new jobs and cultivating local supply chains.
IFC’s Yazgan Musannif, Senior Industry
Specialist, and Lukas Casey, Head of Retail, joined Mr. Tsitsiragos at
the congress. IFC experts also discussed IFC strategy and projects in emerging
IFC, the private sector arm of the World
Bank Group, promotes open and competitive markets in developing countries.
IFC supports sustainable private sector companies and other partners in
generating productive jobs and delivering basic services, so that people
have opportunities to escape poverty and improve their lives. Through FY06,
IFC Financial Products has committed more than $56 billion in funding for
private sector investments and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications
for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC Advisory Services
and donor partners have provided more than $1 billion in program support
to build small enterprises, to accelerate private participation in infrastructure,
to improve the business enabling environment, to increase access to finance,
and to strengthen environmental and social sustainability. For more information,
please visit www.ifc.org.
About the World Retail Congress:
Created in response to the demands of
retailers in both developed and emerging markets, and supported by major
international players, including Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Carrefour,
Ikea, AlShaya, AS Watson, and Best Buy, the World Retail Congress will
bring together the world’s retail leaders for high-level debate with international
policy makers. The aim is to drive growth in the global retail economy,
promote the benefits of global retail excellence, and gain sustainable,
competitive edge in domestic and international markets. With thousands
of key retail professionals and politicians expected to attend, the focus
will be on discussing and influencing the issues for change. Further
details at www.worldretailcongress.com.