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IFC Supports Private Sector Development in Europe and Central Asia Amid Unprecedented Global Crisis by Investing $2,5 Billion

Vienna, Austria, August 11, 2020 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, supported private sector growth in Europe and Central Asia throughout the past year, helping sustain economies and protect jobs amid an unprecedented global crisis. During its fiscal year 2020, which ended on June 30, IFC invested around $2,5 billion in the region, including $1.1 billion mobilized from other investors, driving the diversification of the region’s economies, promoting inclusion, tackling climate change, and helping to lessen the impact of the pandemic.
IFC also supported $657.2 million of cross-border trade in the region through 25 banks participating in its global trade finance program. IFC implemented 74 advisory projects in the region, which focused on improving business regulations, working with the private sector to fight climate change and helping local companies improve their corporate governance, and environmental and social practices.
Georgina Baker, IFC Vice-President for Europe, Central Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean, said: “Our clients face a difficult recovery, private investment is likely to remain subdued in many countries in Europe and Central Asia, and fiscal pressures will limit public spending. However, rebuilding after a crisis also brings opportunities. We will continue to focus on high-impact projects that can help address most pressing needs of economies, mitigate climate change, promote financial inclusion, and maintain and create jobs.”
To boost the green economy in the region:
·        In Serbia, we closed the Belgrade Waste-to-energy project , which is replacing an old unsanitary landfill, reducing environmental damage and using unavoidable waste as a resource to produce electricity and heat.
·        We helped prepare the first solar tender in Uzbekistan , soon bringing renewable energy at a very competitive price to the country, and supported Armenia’s first grid-scale solar photovoltaic project .
·        We closed IFC’s first ever property-sector European green loan to build one million square meters of resource-efficient warehouses and commercial properties in Romania, supporting efforts to increase the country’s competitiveness and productivity.
·        We helped launch Ukraine’s Energy Efficiency Fund , facilitating energy-efficient renovations of residential buildings in the country.
To increase access to finance and promote inclusion :
·        With support of the IDA Private Sector Window Local Currency Facility, we provided loans to two local financial institutions, Humo and Arvand in Tajikistan , to finance micro-housing projects and lend to microfinance customers.
·        In Turkey, we put together an innovative facility for lending to MSMEs in the communities affected by the influx of Syrian refugees .
·        In Ukraine, we reached an important milestone of helping small farmers get access to $1 billion worth of loans though “crop receipts”—an innovative financial instrument that allows farmers to maintain productivity and profitability.
To improve competitiveness and connectivity :
·        We increased capacity of the Tu rkish port sector through an investment in a $600-million bond issued by Mersin International Port and a loan to Asya Port Liman A.S. .
·        We supported the development of Ukraine’s first Public-Private Partnership based on best international standards, to develop the Kherson Sea Commercial Port, as well as the structuring and tender process of the Sofia Airport concession .
Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, IFC has focused its efforts on helping the private sector mitigate the economic fallout. In March, IFC announced $8 billion in global fast-track financing to help companies affected by the outbreak. In Europe and Central Asia. we have stepped up to support our existing clients in dealing with the impact of the pandemic, for example with a $50 million loan to Garanti BBVA to lend to Turkish micro, small, and medium enterprises affected by the pandemic. IFC also allocated around $300 million in trade finance in the region, helping client financial institutions keep liquidity flowing to businesses that depend on trade, especially SMEs.
For more information about IFC’s COVID-19 response, please visit www.ifc.org .
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 in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2019, we invested more than $19 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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