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 of investment 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.
In fiscal year 2013 (July 1, 2012 - June 30, 2013), IFC commitments in the region totaled $4.5 billion in 132 projects in 22 countries, with $3.3 billion for our own account and $1.2 billion in syndicated and parallel loans, and funds mobilized from other investors.
These investments cover a wide range of sectors, including financial markets, agribusiness, IT, manufacturing, and infrastructure. 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. The largest share of investments in FY13 went to Turkey and Russia, both in IFC's top 10 country exposures. As of June 30, 2013, IFC's committed portfolio in Europe and Central Asia stood at $10.6 billion.
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, and environmental and social practices. In addition, IFC provides advice to national governments on improving business legislation and the overall investment climate.
In FY13, ECA Advisory Services helped governments reform business permits, inspections, trade regulations and tax-administration systems, helping reduce administrative costs for the private sector by over $52 million per year, significantly improving the region’s business climate.
IFC’s strategy in ECA is to continue supporting infrastructure and services, strengthening the financial system, and boosting competitiveness and diversification, with cross-cutting themes of job creation and climate change.