South Asia Priorities
IFC's Priorities in South Asia
IFC PROMOTES INCLUSIVE GROWTH IN SOUTH ASIA BY IMPROVING INFRASTRUCTURE AND FINANCIAL SERVICES, AND BY SUPPORTING THE EXPANSION OF SMALLER BUSINESSES.
IFC makes strategic investments and advisory interventions across India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives, to promote inclusive growth, help address climate change impacts, and encourage global and regional integration.
In fiscal year 2017, we provided about $2.8 billion in financing for businesses in South Asia, including $817 million mobilized from other investors, expanding our portfolio in the region to more than $7.5 billion for our own account. Our clients distributed gas to 1.5 million people, provided nearly 500,000 jobs, and treated 22.5 million patients.
Infrastructure and Energy
Close to 500 million people across South Asia are not connected to the grid. IFC is working to improve critical infrastructure and invest in clean energy solutions that also enable better regional integration.
IFC has launched two large offshore and onshore programs in India, mobilizing international capital markets to support infrastructure development. We are deepening capital markets for other countries including Bangladesh and introducing thematic bonds in the region.
Over 650 million people are unbanked in South Asia. IFC is tapping opportunities to enhance access to financial services and leveraging innovative technology solutions to extend financial inclusion.
Bangladesh’s garment sector accounts for 20 percent of the country’s GDP and employs over 4 million people. IFC is helping facilitate investments, improve construction and fire safety, labor and environmental standards, and establish the conditions for it to grow in a sustainable way.
Jobs and Entrepreneurship
Every month, one million people enter South Asia’s work force. IFC’s investments in financial institutions supports small and medium enterprises and help build skills through our knowledge tools such as the Business Edge and the SME Toolkit.
IFC is working to accelerate access to broadband technologies in South Asia such as optic fiber and 4G, and related infrastructure, including towers and datacenters.