Washington D.C., January 30, 2003—Peter
Woicke, head of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Managing
Director of the World Bank Group, will visit Brazil from February 3-7.
The purpose of his visit is to meet clients and partners in the business
and social sectors, as well as the new Brazilian administration, to reaffirm
IFC’s commitment in supporting sustainable private sector development
in Brazil and assist the country’s efforts to reduce poverty and hunger.
During his five-day trip, Peter Woicke will visit Rio de Janeiro, Espiritu
Santo, Minas Gerais, Brasilia and Sao Paulo, where he will meet IFC clients
and senior government officials to exchange views on how IFC can support
Brazil reach its development goals.
In Sao Paulo, Mr. Woicke will participate in the launching in Brazil of
the report, Developing Value, the Business Case for Sustainability in
Emerging Markets, issued by IFC, together with the Ethos Institute
of Brazil and the UK-based SustainAbility, which challenges conventional
wisdom of doing business in emerging markets. The report, based on more
than 240 examples in over 60 countries, shows that better corporate governance,
and improved environmental and social sustainability, go hand-in-hand with
sustainable profitability. The event will be hosted by the Federation of
Industries of the State of Sao Paulo FIESP, and will count with the participation
of Ethos, SustainAbility and Bovespa.
During the event, Peter Woicke, together with senior government officials
and Ethos, will launch a major initiative by which IFC will finance a study
to establish a framework for cooperation between the private sector and
more than 900 municipalities in Brazil that are the focus of the Fome Zero
(Zero Hunger) program. IFC believes that the Fome Zero program provides
an excellent platform to draw on the financial and managerial resources
of the private sector behind the objective of eradicating hunger in Brazil,
one of the key objectives of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
In Aimorés, Minas Gerais, Mr. Woicke will meet Sebastiao and Leila Salgado,
founders of Instituto Terra, an IFC partner in promoting sustainable business
practices among small agro-producers. He will also visit Belo Horizonte
where he will sign a commitment of the largest ever carbon finance transaction
to date under the Kyoto Protocol, Clean Development Mechanism, with V&M
IFC, the private sector financing arm of the World Bank Group, has worked
actively to support the development of a sustainable private sector in
Brazil. With a $1.23 billion portfolio, Brazil is the largest IFC client
in Latin America and worldwide. In 2002, IFC has been critical 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.
IFC also has financed directly or indirectly projects in infrastructure,
energy, industrial expansion and environmental upgrading. Brazil was the
largest recipient of IFC’s funds in the fiscal year 2002 with a commitment
of $619.6 million in 13 projects. In addition to this record volume of
transactions, IFC worked closely with Bovespa in the launching of Novo
Mercado, the new stock exchange in Brazil for companies meeting high
standards of corporate governance.
The centerpiece of IFC’s strategy in Brazil includes projects to accelerate
economic growth, exports and job creation by supporting the private sector,
as well as programs that will help spread the benefits of that growth among
Brazil’s population. In this context, 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
IFC’s mission (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, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments
and businesses. Since its founding in 1956 through FY02, IFC has committed
more than $34 billion of its own funds and arranged $21 billion in syndications
for 2,825 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC's worldwide committed
portfolio as of FY02 was $15.1 billion for its own account and $6.5 billion
held for participants in loan syndications.