Johannesburg, South Africa, 15 February 2011
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Korean industrial giant POSCO today announced a year-long memorandum of understanding to cooperate on business development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Under the new accord, the two organizations will work together closely in coming months to identify and pursue investment opportunities in manufacturing, mining and infrastructure.
POSCO is one of the largest steel production companies in the world, involved in engineering and construction, power generation and natural resource development through its various subsidiaries. POSCO has led the Korean steel industry for four decades, and has expanded rapidly around the world. Today it is committed to making POSCO family companies globally renowned leaders, including through expansion in Africa.
Young-Hoon Lee, POSCO’s Senior VP and Head of Strategy, said, “Africa is an increasingly important part of the global economy. POSCO and its affiliated companies have a growing interest in finding new investment opportunities in Africa in the steel manufacturing, natural resource development, infrastructure, energy and information technologies sectors.”
The new cooperation reflects the growing interest of international project sponsors in Sub-Saharan Africa, and IFC’s increasing involvement in South-South investment—projects executed in Africa by companies from newly developed countries or other developing countries. Such investments encourage smoother capital flows and promote high standards that are critical for Africa's economic development. Today, the Republic of Korea is a high income, developed country that is part of the G-20 and member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Saleem Karimjee, IFC’s Country Manager for Southern Africa, said, “IFC wants to help investors from other dynamic, rapidly growing economies find opportunities in Africa. IFC has a strong presence across the region, experience in a range of sectors, global expertise and high standards that can help our partners succeed in profitable and sustainable businesses in Africa.”
The cooperation began with a meeting in Johannesburg this week, where the MOU was signed. It was followed by joint sessions on the manufacturing, mining and infrastructure sectors. Staff from both organizations will maintain close contact over the next year to explore opportunities for joint business development.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit