Press Releases

Emerging Market Health Care Companies Going International Is Theme of IFC Conference

In Washington, DC
Ludi Joseph
Phone: + (202) 473 7700

Washington, D.C., April 10, 2007—IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is holding its biannual health care conference on April 18-20, 2007, in Washington, D.C., to explore the future of private health care, which is growing rapidly in developing countries, buoyed by economic growth at home and opportunities abroad. Emerging market operators are increasingly going international, to other emerging markets as well as industrialized countries. Conference participants will discuss the changes taking place, business prospects, and ways that companies can benefit from shared experiences and best practices as well as forge new links through cross-border investing.

More than 100 participants from over 20 countries are expected to attend. Panel discussions and presentations by leading analysts and practitioners will provide information for decision-makers on competing in the global marketplace. Major themes include innovative models, future trends, franchising, health cooperatives, insurance, and medical tourism.  Discussions will place special focus on the experiences of companies from Brazil, China, India, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.

Speakers will include Paul Wolfowitz, World Bank Group President; Lars Thunell, IFC Executive Vice President; Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations; Hans Rosling, Professor of International Health, Karolinska Institute, Sweden; and Jackie Shevel, founder and former CEO, Netcare, South Africa. Guy Ellena, IFC Health and Education Director, will chair the conference.

According to Thunell, “Global spending on health care has risen substantially over the past decade. There is a demand for more and better services, and governments are embracing private sector participation—encouraged by the need for better quality and efficiency in health care systems. Nowhere is this need felt more keenly than in the emerging markets, where demand is presenting big opportunities both for local providers and multinationals.”

To learn more about the conference please visit:

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, accelerate private participation in infrastructure, improve the business enabling environment, increase access to finance, and strengthen environmental and social sustainability. For more information, please visit

IFC and the Health Care Sector
IFC is the world’s largest multilateral investor in the private health care sector in emerging markets. From 2000 to 2006, IFC provided $350 million in financing to 39 private health care projects in 22 countries, with a total value of $1.2 billion. IFC has mobilized an additional $70 million from participating banks for its health investments. IFC-supported health care facilities employ over 20,000 people in developing countries and treat about 5 million patients annually. IFC's Health and Education Department ( provides project and corporate financing through a variety of financial instruments, including loans, guarantees, and equity investments. The department also provides advisory services to support individual clients.

NOTE TO EDITORS:  For media accreditation or to attend, please call 202-473-7700 or e-mail: Prior registration is necessary. Non-media queries should be directed to 202-473-4274, e-mail: