WASHINGTON, D.C., Mar. 3—The International
Finance Corporation (IFC) has opened a new office in Guatemala to strengthen
relations with the business community and governments of Central America.
World Bank Group President James D. Wolfensohn today inaugurated the new
office located within the World Bank Resident Mission for Guatemala in
The new office will serve as the IFC hub for countries as far south as
Panama and will allow IFC and the Bank Group to expand their relationship
with the private sector in order to stimulate Central America's relatively
limited access to international capital. The new office will also bring
IFC closer to its clients in the region, thus enabling it to offer higher
quality services, especially to small and medium-sized businesses.
IFC's investments in Central America exceed US$700 million. In February,
the Corporation was selected by the Panamanian Government as principal
adviser in the privatization of the Panama Electricity Company.
IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank, is the largest multilateral
source of equity and loan financing for private sector projects in developing
countries. In addition to financing private sector investments, the
Corporation also mobilizes capital in the international financial markets,
and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.