IFC Reaches Out to French Businesses to Promote Investments in Emerging Markets
This year’s Summer University Event of MEDEF, the leading French business organization, attracted some 4,000 representatives of French companies for a three day program “Crisis: From Danger to Opportunity”. The event featured over 200 prestigious speakers from all horizons, including several French Ministers.
The World Bank Group was represented by Christian Grossmann, IFC Director of Corporate Strategy, who participated in the panel "No capitalism without capital" and Bertrand Badré, Managing Director, Finance, and World Bank Group CFO, who participated in the plenary session on "France, fiscal nightmare?".
During his panel discussion, which included, among others, French Budget Minister Cazeneuve, Christian Grossman discussed the many challenges that are facing the world economy and the central role that IFC has been playing to support private sector development in emerging markets. He highlighted IFC’s priority areas and its innovative product offering, and emphasized the importance of continuing to partner with the private sector in developed economies, such as France, to promote investments in emerging markets. Given the large business audience the panel provided a very effective forum to reach potential French investors, and to demonstrate IFC’s thought leadership on private sector development.
IFC has a longstanding partnership with French private sector companies, which have benefited from co-investments with IFC while making notable contributions to development, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Many French multinational companies are current or past IFC clients.
As of June 2012, IFC’s aggregate committed portfolio to French sponsors amounted to nearly $1.51 billion, making it one of the largest of Western Europe.
French banks play a particularly important role in IFC’s Syndication Program, both as direct lenders for B-loans with total held commitments of nearly $1.34 billion in FY12, and as parallel lenders, making French financial institutions, the most active group in the program.
Under the Global Trade Finance Program (GTFP), which supports trade finance in developing countries through confirming banks, IFC has issued about $1.44 billion in guarantees for French banks since the inception of the program in 2005.