Share this page

IFC and ‘Urban 20’ Mayors Highlight Investment Opportunities in Emerging Market Cities

Tokyo, May 17, 2019 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will host an international symposium and a seminar for mayors and governors from cities around the world next week in Tokyo, to identify ways the private sector can help address the urban challenges under discussion at the U20 Mayors Summit.
The high-level events, part of the lead-up to the G20 Summit in Osaka in June, reflect IFC’s role as a knowledge partner to the U20. The discussions will reflect priorities identified by U20 cities and Japanese partners: the need for new business models to address urban challenges; and the need for subnational governments to be able to access diverse sources of finance to advance their priorities.
Mayors and senior delegates from cities and provinces across the globe, including Paris, Jakarta , Buenos Aires, Dhaka, Bogota, Helsinki and West Java, are expected to take part.
“We are pleased to have this opportunity to bring our private sector partners together with mayors and governors from around the world to problem-solve some of the biggest challenges they are facing and develop innovative ways to address them,” said Morgan Landy, IFC’s Senior Director, Global Infrastructure and Natural Resources. “Many of the world’s most pressing development needs lie in cities and well-governed, fiscally sound municipalities have tremendous potential to attract investment for a bright future.”
IFC research has highlighted an opportunity for climate-smart investment in urban centers, particularly in Asia where cities are growing quickly, and where municipal governments are increasingly creating space for private companies to invest in reducing emissions and building resilience.
“In Asia alone, there is a $20 trillion investment opportunity in urban centers, spread across six major sectors: green buildings, electric vehicles, renewable energy, water, public transportation and waste. As leading investors in new technology, Japanese companies have a significant opportunity to capitalize on this investment potential,” said Vivek Pathak, IFC Regional Director for East Asia and the Pacific.
One example of a company using innovation know-how and expertise to address cities’ challenges is the Japanese firm Itochu, which along with Suez is working to develop a new system to treat the municipal waste of Belgrade, including with the development of a waste-to-energy plant.
As a city that has successfully developed efficient infrastructure to accommodate a fast-growing population over the past century, Tokyo is one of the best-placed cities in the world to host the U20 summit, a forum that aims to inform and influence discussions at the Group of 20 leaders’ summit.
Mobilizing private investment into cities supports IFC’s mandate to drive economic development through private-sector growth. IFC helps cities leverage private finance and innovation to address their growing infrastructure and service delivery needs through both investments and advisory services, helping municipalities prepare for the future. Over the last 15 years, IFC has invested more than $8 billion across more than 250 basic urban and social infrastructure projects.
About IFC
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more than US$23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit
Stay Connected