IFC has been doing business in Europe and Central Asia since the 1970s, investing over $25 billion in over 1,400 projects. In fiscal year 2012 (July 1, 2011 - June 30, 2012), IFC commitments in the region totaled $4.16 billion in 114 projects in 20 countries, with $2.92 billion from our own account and $1.24 billion in syndicated and parallel loans, and funds mobilized from other investors.
The largest share of investments went to Russia and Turkey, both in IFC's top 10 country exposures. These investments cover a wide range of sectors, including the financial markets, agribusiness, IT, manufacturing, infrastructure, and retail. We continue to support small and medium enterprises through the financial sector and advisory services, and to increase our investments in locally-owned companies and in low-income regions. As of June 30, 2012, IFC's committed portfolio in Europe and Central Asia stood at $11 billion.
We stepped up support to markets vulnerable to the eurozone crisis and deleveraging by Western banks. The World Bank Group pledged up to $27 billion should the need arise, and we significantly increased our commitments in the Western Balkans (up 66 percent over last year) and in Bulgaria, Moldova, and Romania (up 91 percent).
IFC Advisory Services in Europe and Central Asia substantially expanded its climate change and agribusiness support programs. IFC trained hundreds of government inspectors and food producers on best international practices in food safety, helped local companies and banks improve corporate governance and strengthen their risk management practices, and supported governments in reforming business inspections, permits, and tax administration systems.
IFC is the world’s largest multilateral investor in private companies in emerging markets. As part of the World Bank Group, we invest in the private sector in emerging economies to promote growth, reduce poverty, and improve people’s lives. IFC invests in markets in which other private financiers are unprepared to assume all the risks. We apply our financial resources, technical expertise, global experience, and innovative thinking to help our partners overcome financial, operational, and political challenges.
IFC offers a variety ofinvestment products and services that enable its partners to capitalize on emerging opportunities. We work closely with each client, tailoring our investment strategy to take into account the specifics of a country and sector.
Advisory work plays an important role in IFC's involvement in the region. IFC works with its investment partners to build reliable supply and distribution chains through customized advice on better production and management practices to local suppliers and distributors. IFC also helps local companies improve their corporate governance, environmental, and social practices. In addition, IFC provides advice to national governments on improving business legislation and the overall investment climate.