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IFC Helps Korean Infrastructure Developers Boost Resilience, Identify New Opportunities Post COVID-19

Seoul, October 7, 2020 —Over 100 Korean infrastructure executives and practitioners gained exclusive insight into the opportunities post COVID-19 through a webinar that was organized by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group. Participants at the online workshop were further introduced to practical lessons on managing public-private partnership (PPP) projects and environmental and social risks in infrastructure projects.
The online event was part of IFC’s efforts to support the government of Korea and Korean firms to expand resilient and sustainable private sector investments in developing markets. At the virtual event, Korean and international experts discussed a range of challenges and opportunities in infrastructure in developing countries—including those in Southeast and Central Asia—the target regions for strengthened cooperation in Korea’s New Southern Policy and New Northern Policy respectively.  
“Nearly two-thirds of the global infrastructure investment needed through 2035 will be in emerging markets. With proven experience in providing efficient and sustainable infrastructure and services, Korean developers could play a big role in responding to this need,” said Isabel Chatterton, IFC’s Asia Pacific Regional Industry Director for Natural Resources and Infrastructure. “IFC is ready to explore new opportunities in collaboration with its Korean partners following a number of successful infrastructure projects in challenging markets over the years.”
Sustainable infrastructure is critical for addressing developmental challenges, especially post pandemic.
“The pandemic has refreshed three key elements in infrastructure development – recovery, resilience and restructuring. These elements will guide us in finding opportunity from crisis and develop sustainable infrastructure that will support a strong economic recovery in developing countries,” said Dae Joong Lee, Director of Development Finance Division, Ministry of Economy and Finance of the Government of Korea.  
“There is a clear global appetite to ensure the recovery from COVID-19 is sustainable and Korea could play a key role in this,” said Vivek Pathak, IFC’s Regional Director for East Asia and the Pacific.  “While the crisis is exacting a heavy toll on developing countries, there can be opportunity out of the crisis to mobilize public and private financing to build back better.”
Since re-establishing its presence in Korea in 2014, IFC has provided financing—worth over $6.5 billion of long-term commitments—for projects involving Korean partners and banks. In fiscal 2020 alone, IFC supported two Korean infrastructure projects in Asia and Africa. Last month, IFC and Korea Eximbank signed a memorandum of understanding to expand collaboration in smart urban solutions, innovation, and other areas key to sustainable recovery in developing countries. Globally, IFC invested $1.5 billion and mobilized $3.2 billion in infrastructure in FY20.
About IFC
IFC—a member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2020, we invested $22 billion in private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org .
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