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IFC and China’s Ministry of Finance Promote Rural Development in China

Beijing, China, September 14, 2010 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today signed two investments to promote rural development in China. The signings occurred on the sidelines of the International Conference on Rural Finance in China, co-sponsored by IFC and China’s Ministry of Finance to mark the 30 th anniversary of partnership between the World Bank Group and China.
IFC agreed to provide 11 million Chinese renminbi ($1.6 million equivalent) equity along with technical assistance to Sichuan Beichuan Fumin Village and Township Bank to further support recovery in Beichuan following the devastating 2008 earthquake.  IFC also will provide a $2 million trade line to Binhai Rural Commercial Bank to bolster financial services for local small and midsize enterprises.
“Financing is a critical element for comprehensive, inclusive, and sustainable development,” World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick told government officials and global experts at the conference.  “Effective and easily accessible financing networks can stimulate investments in agriculture, create non-farm employment, and expand economic opportunities for rural people.”
IFC is a leading player in rural and microfinance.  It has helped develop seven microfinance institutions in China related to rural finance through its advisory services.  IFC has also invested about $120 million in 11 rural finance operations.  Strong cooperation between advisory and investment services has enabled IFC to help create the first foreign-invested microcredit company, the first Sino-foreign village and township bank, and the first company in China to transform from a nongovernmental organization focused on microfinance to an incorporated microfinance institution.
“We are pleased to support the development of rural finance in China and the two investments signed today are further testimonies to this effort,” said Rashad Kaldany, IFC Vice President for Asia, Eastern Europe, Middle East and North Africa.  “Going forward, IFC is committed to working with the Chinese partners to strengthen the policy and regulatory environment as well as financial infrastructure to facilitate secured lending, credit reporting, and insolvency resolution in rural areas.”
At the conference, IFC and the Ministry of Finance brought together representatives of government agencies, international institutions, and local rural and microfinance institutions to share lessons from scaling up rural finance in China.  Participants shared international best practices for microfinance operations and discussed challenges and opportunities in developing inclusive rural finance in China.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit .