Press Releases

Head of IFC and Managing Director of the World Bank Visits Brazil, February 3-7

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 do Brazil.

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 markets.

IFC’s mission ( 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.

Corrie Shanahan
Phone: (202) 473-2258
Fax: (202) 974-4384

Adriana Gomez
Phone: (202) 458-5204
Fax: (202) 974-4384