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Apr 28, 2021
This note proposes a high-level framework to assess challenges and policy options to enabling private sector-led investment in 5G connectivity in emerging markets. 5G is the latest mobile network technology and it has the potential to provide high-speed Internet connectivity and enable digital transformation across multiple sectors of an economy. The proposed framework leverages industry data to articulate the digital divide and benchmark the enabling environment for 5G connectivity in emerging markets. The note concludes with recommendations on policy options and business strategies, drawing from early experiences in advanced markets and major opportunities and challenges in emerging markets.
English | 8 pages — April —Note 102 | IFC 2021
Sep 24, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic shutdown have severely depressed electricity demand across the globe, with acute consequences for the revenues and financial health of utilities, as well as smaller providers of utility services and off-grid companies. In many places, utility service providers also must manage the inability of consumers to pay for their services. Government support has been forthcoming, but utilities need to work closely with policymakers to ensure that programs are carefully designed in order to maintain ongoing system reforms, competitiveness, and affordability, and avoid long-lasting market disruptions. These support measures should avoid redundancy among sectors and ensure that resources are efficiently allocated and that welfare improvements are fairly distributed across the country in a sustainable manner. Investors must also understand changes to utilities’ finances and should work to support further reforms.
English | 8 pages - September - Note 90 | IFC 2020
May 7, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic shows that digital connectivity is critical to societal resilience and business continuity in times of crisis. For digital infrastructure providers in emerging markets, higher demand for connectivity may be counterbalanced by a series of negative shocks. These could affect broadband operators and smaller companies, leading to less competition, limited availability of open-access broadband infrastructure, and reduced technological innovation. However, the perceived value of digital connectivity is likely to rise, creating opportunities to implement policy reforms to accelerate the rollout of 4G and 5G. Digital infrastructure companies, however, may accelerate their migration toward diversified business models. Against a background of funding withdrawal from emerging markets, financing for smaller or independent companies in the poorest economies may require substantial support from development finance institutions to preserve competition, improve resilience, and pr
English | 8 Pages - May - Note 83 | 2020 IFC
Apr 28, 2020
The energy sector worldwide faces growing challenges related to rising demand, efficiency, changing supply and demand patterns, and a lack of analytics needed for optimal management. These challenges are more acute in emerging market nations. Efficiency issues are particularly problematic, as the prevalence of informal connections to the power grid means a large amount of power is neither measured nor billed, resulting in losses as well as greater CO2 emissions, as consumers have little incentive to rationally use energy they don’t pay for. The power sector in developed nations has already begun to use artificial intelligence and related technologies that allow for communication between smart grids, smart meters, and Internet of Things devices. These technologies can help improve power management, efficiency, and transparency, and increase the use of renewable energy sources.
English | 8 Pages - April - Note 81 | 2020 IFC
Feb 28, 2020
Digital connectivity has enormous potential to support development. Yet today some four billion people in emerging economies remain offline, partly due to a lack of affordable Internet access. Sharing infrastructure among operators and across sectors is a potential solution. It can accelerate digital connectivity at lower cost, especially in the least developed markets where returns to investment can be limited. It can also reduce investment costs and operating expenses for investors and operators, and increase their balance sheet sustainability. Sharing models can also benefit consumers by increasing competition, lowering prices, and raising service quality. The private sector has already embraced this model; further expansion requires targeted policies that promote competition and facilitate sharing.
English | 8 Pages - February - Note 79 | IFC 2020
Feb 11, 2020
Population growth and urbanization in emerging markets will mean expanding cities and rising demand for new housing in urban areas around the world. These trends represent an enormous opportunity to design, build, and operate the homes of tomorrow in intelligent ways that minimize energy consumption and carbon emissions, lower building and homeowner costs. Artificial intelligence will play a pivotal role in this effort by using data—including grid data, smart meter data, weather data, and energy use information—to study and improve building performance, optimize resource consumption, and increase comfort and cost efficiency for residents. AI will also analyze data collected from multiple buildings to improve building design and construction and inform future policy making related to construction and urban planning.
English | 8 Pages - February - Note 78 | IFC 2020
Nov 6, 2019
Transport in emerging markets often faces acute challenges due to poor infrastructure, growing populations, urbanization, and in some regions rising prosperity, which increases vehicle traffic, cargo volumes, and pollution. Artificial intelligence offers new solutions to these challenges by making market entry easier and allowing countries to reach underserved populations, creating markets and private sector investment opportunities associated with them.
English | 8 Pages - November - Note 75 | IFC 2019
Oct 7, 2019
How big is the financing gap to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? Can private capital fill the gap? This note provides an updated overview of estimates of SDG financing in low- and middle-income countries and gives an analytical and data-based foundation for discussion. Based on a review of recent studies, as well as IFC’s own calculations of cross-border flow trends, the note documents the ongoing and significant SDG financing gap. Raising taxes to expand public spending is an option for many middle-income countries to fill the gap, but it will be insufficient for low-income countries. Private financing, especially of infrastructure, can also contribute to bridging the gap, but it will depend on the availability of investable projects. Capital market development and improved domestic financial systems can help intermediate more private capital into available investment opportunities.
English | 8 Pages - October - Note 73 | IFC 2019
Mar 12, 2019
In the clean energy transition, the value of natural gas infrastructure is very important for operating the energy system. Gas-fired power plants contribute to optimized energy systems when they are designed to operate flexibly, responding to demand patterns and the variable supply of renewable energy. Smart electricity grids, renewable energy, battery storage technology, and gas-fired power plants in combination will generally be the lowest cost, low-carbon solution to the growing energy requirements of emerging markets. Private investors and financiers are responding to these opportunities, but the full potential will only be reached with improvements in policy, regulation, and procurement in destination markets.
English | 8 pages - March - Note 65 | IFC 2019
Feb 22, 2019
Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals is estimated to require additional financing on the order of $2.6 trillion in emerging markets and low-income countries in 2030. A substantial increase in private investment is required to close this financing gap. The Investor Forum held at the 2018 G20 Buenos Aires Summit, which included some of the world’s largest investors, focused on solutions to these challenges. The resulting Buenos Aires Call to Action calls for a more regular dialogue with policy makers at the highest level and underlines the need to break away from the short-termism that plagues current investment strategies.
English | 8 Pages - February - Note 64 | IFC 2019
Jun 28, 2018
Created in Peru in 2008, Works for Taxes is an innovative approach to accelerating infrastructure investment. It allows private firms to “pay” their income taxes in advance through the execution of public works projects. By accepting infrastructure projects in lieu of future taxes, national, regional, and local governments can forego mobilization of public funds and reduce the burden on government budgets, as the private sector assumes the upfront costs and management of new infrastructure projects.
English l 7pages l - June - Note 55 l IFC 2018
Apr 19, 2017
In 2007 Jordan lacked the financial resources and experience to embark on a renovation and expansion of its international airport, a colossal public-private undertaking. Yet by 2013 it was able to successfully complete the complex endeavor in collaboration with a private sector concessionaire, and without a sovereign guarantee, setting an example for countries and public-private project practitioners confronting similar circumstances. IFC played multiple roles in facilitating private investment over a 10-year period.
English | 5 Pages - April - Note 35 | IFC, 2017
Apr 13, 2017
The infrastructure financing gap remains a critical global challenge for sustainable development. New thinking and innovative financial models are needed in order to mobilize more private capital to infrastructure investments. IFC’s new Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Program for Infrastructure seeks to address numerous infrastructure financing challenges that inhibit the flow of resources to emerging markets. The program provides an innovative model for mobilizing financing for infrastructure projects that combines financing from insurance companies, project origination and credit enhancement from IFC, and support from public sector donors.
English | 4 Pages - April - Note 36 | IFC, 2017
Mar 1, 2017
The World Bank Group’s engagement in Turkey’s power sector, which began in the 1990s and continues today, has helped to expand independent power production and privatize electricity distribution in the country. Significant investments made in both generation and distribution shifted the power sector toward private investment and management while meeting growing energy needs.
English | 3 Pages - March - Note 33 | IFC, 2017
Dec 13, 2016
Infrastructure delivers basic services critical to sustainable economic growth, improved living standards, and shared prosperity. The traditional role of financing and operating infrastructure projects has been shaken up in recent decades by the emergence of Public-Private Partnerships. Designed and implemented correctly, these partnerships can bring greater efficiency and sustainability to the provision of public services such as water and sanitation, electric power, transport, and telecommunications.
English | 6 Pages - December - Note 26 | IFC, 2016 6| IFC
Nov 18, 2016
With the application of new storage capacity technologies, advances in the capabilities of energy networks promise to deliver not only efficiency and productivity gains but also business opportunities for remote areas in emerging countries.
English | 6 Pages - November - Note 23 | © IFC, 2016
Oct 3, 2016
Private sector investment is much needed in emerging markets to upgrade energy supplies, but too often power utilities in these markets are uncompetitive. In order to attract private investment, many aspects of how power utilities are operated need to be reformed. With their experience in helping to structure and finance successful infrastructure projects in emerging markets, development finance institutions are well positioned to support emerging market government efforts to translate power sector reforms into private investment.
English | 4 Pages - October - Note 21 | © IFC, 2016
Sep 30, 2016
Private sector financing is essential to bridging the infrastructure gap between emerging markets and developed countries. Given the risk profiles of many of these projects, however, private investors are reluctant to help finance important infrastructure investments. Now, new packages of financial and advisory products offered by development finance institutions are substantially improving these risk profiles, making them viable for private investment even in very challenging environments.
English | 4 Pages - September - Note 20 | © IFC, 2016
Sep 30, 2016
Mobile telecommunications has many benefits, from linking communities and citizens to mobile applications that bring financial services to the unbanked and help farmers improve crop yields. Yet at one time it looked as though Africa’s mobile sector might fare as poorly as its fixed line system did. Instead, an appropriate mix of regulation and competition, investment, and affordability allowed mobile phones and broadband access to flourish.
English | 4 Pages - September - Note 19 | © IFC, 2016
Sep 29, 2016
In the face of high and volatile fossil fuel prices the government of Jordan launched an aggressive national strategy to increase production of privately financed, commercial scale renewable energy. This pivot was initially met with skepticism from developers and financiers. Yet by aggregating seven small, individual solar power projects into a single, standardized financing structure—the Seven Sisters—the country was able spread costs, shorten timelines, and ultimately attract the necessary financing and developers to make the effort a reality.
English | 3 Pages - September - Note 18 | © IFC, 2016
Sep 29, 2016
Solar power is an increasingly affordable, quick-to-build solution for countries in need of additional electricity generation. Yet many emerging markets face challenges to developing photovoltaic projects, as small project sizes and lengthy negotiations increase costs and timelines. Scaling Solar, launched by the World Bank Group in 2015, addresses these issues by providing an easy-to-follow process to plan, procure, and launch grid-connected solar projects using private sector financing within two years of engagement. It offers governments the tools to quickly increase energy generation at stable low tariffs and allows developers to bid on well-structured, standardized projects through a competitive, transparent process that reduces risk and costs—making new markets easier to navigate.
English | 2 Pages - September - Note 17 | © IFC, 2016
Sep 14, 2016
In emerging markets, climate change threatens infrastructure that is critical for development. Roads, airports, water systems, and power plants are vulnerable to weather changes. Severe storms and major droughts can disrupt economic activity. Because private companies and investors in emerging markets often manage infrastructure projects through public-private partnerships, they will now need to address climate change risks when planning and building these projects. The uncertainty of such risks has made incorporating them into project planning a challenge, but new tools and approaches, including insurance, are helping PPPs better respond to climate risks.
English | 4 Pages - September - Note 14 | © IFC, 2016
Apr 11, 2016
What are the current trends in emerging-market infrastructure spending? Emerging markets need twice the infrastructure investment they now receive. East Asia has the greatest needs, while Africa’s requirements are large in comparison to its economic size. Power generation accounts for more than half of needed investment. And institutional investors are becoming increasingly aware of the manifold benefits that infrastructure investments offer.
English | 2 Pages - April - Note 5 | © IFC, 2016
Apr 11, 2016
If the goal of moving development financing from billions to trillions of dollars is to be realized, the World Bank Group and other development banks will need to mobilize third-party money by leveraging their financial and advisory resources. A promising start to a large-scale infrastructure project in Colombia is evidence that it can be done.
English | 4 Pages - April - Note 4 | © IFC, 2016