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IFC and Austria’s Finance Ministry Establish Trust Fund to Support Private Sector Development in Emerging Markets


In Washington, DC
Andrea Engel

Phone: + 1 (202) 458-1969

Email:
aengel@ifc.org


Washington, D.C., April 18, 2007- IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement with Austria’s Federal Ministry of Finance to establish a €1 million ($1.35 million) trust fund to help promote growth in the private sector in emerging markets. This new trust fund will expand the close cooperation between Austria and IFC.

Welcoming the agreement, Thomas Wieser, Director-General of Austria’s Federal Ministry of Finance, said, “Austria is very pleased with its cooperation with IFC, and this new trust fund is further proof of this. Recent visits to our joint project sites have convinced us of the positive economic impact of this work, which is making a difference in people’s lives at the grassroots level.”


Laurence W. Carter, IFC Small and Medium Enterprise Director, added, “We are delighted to extend our cooperation with Austria. The Austrian Finance Ministry will join the more than 30 partners with which IFC cooperates to maximize our development impact. Partners like Austria are central to our ability to offer targeted advisory services worldwide that have an important development impact on the ground.”

The trust fund targets countries in Southeast and Eastern Europe, where Austrian private business interests are concentrated. Countries in other regions may be considered on a case-by-case basis. There are no restrictions on the type of projects that the trust fund supports. Opportunities arising out of the trust fund will be published on the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber’ Web site:  
www.wko.at/awo.

In the past, the Finance Ministry mainly cooperated with IFC through its partner agency, Austria Wirtschaftsservice, AWS. Austria’s Foreign Ministry is already a donor to IFC through the Austrian Development Agency. Cooperation between Austria and IFC has expanded substantially in FY07, mostly supporting advisory services in Southeast Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa.

About IFC


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 IFC Trust Funds


IFC’s Trust Funds Program was launched in 1988 to provide funding mainly for one-time advisory services projects that help promote private sector development in client countries. Designed to complement IFC’s investments, these projects allow the Corporation to offer financial products combined with advisory services. Trust fund projects range from company-specific interventions, including feasibility studies and capacity-building training programs, to advisory services for governments. Since its inception, the program has supported over 1,500 projects in several sectors.  It now has funding agreements with 25 donor countries.