IFC commits to supporting private sector growth in Timor-Leste

IFC commits to supporting private sector growth in Timor-Leste

David Freedman, the Resident Representative of IFC, in Timor-Leste (Photo tatoli/Francisco Sony)

DILI, 21 june 2022 (TATOLI) – International Financial Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, in its 2-year program aimed to increase its investment in Timor-Leste to boost private sector growth.

“We will see what we can do in the next two years to increase our investment in the country to boost private sector growth, focusing on tourism and agriculture,” said David Freedman, the Resident Representative of IFC, in Timor-Leste, at Presidential Palace.

In partnership with Kaebauk Investment and Finance (KIF), IFC has provided more than US$4 million to support KIF in offering financial services to enhance financial inclusion in the country: “So far, KIF has lent more than US$14 million to the communities.”

In 2020, IFC provided a loan facility of up to US$5 million to KIF which was expected to lead to over 10.000 more people gaining access to finance by 2024, of which over 75 percent will be women. The move is aimed at helping to develop Timor-Leste’s agricultural sector and expand the country’s scarce agri-financing market.

In addition, IFC has also collaborated with the Ministry of Finance (MoF) on a number Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects – Tibar Bay Port, Nicolau Lobato International Airport Expansion, Housing Project in Hera, etc.

IFC helped build the capacity of the private sector developers to deliver large-scale housing projects. The Housing Project is one of the PPP projects aimed at providing affordable housing to very low and middle-income households who are currently not served by the market.

“PPP project demonstrated a significant success, so we will keep working and accelerating these projects to achieve more in the future,” he said.

So far, The International Finance Corporation (IFC) was established in 1956, as the private-sector arm of the World Bank Group, to advance economic development  by investing in for-profit and commercial projects for poverty reduction and promoting development.

The IFC’s stated aim is to create opportunities for people to escape poverty and achieve better living standards by mobilizing financial resources for private enterprise, promoting accessible and competitive markets, supporting businesses and other private-sector entities, and creating jobs and delivering necessary services to those who are poverty stricken or otherwise vulnerable.

Its goals are to increase  sustainable  agriculture  opportunities, improve healthcare and education, increase access to financing for microfinance and business clients, advance infrestructure, help small businesses grow revenues, and invest in climate health.

Originally, it was more financially integrated with the World Bank Group, but later, the IFC was established separately and eventually became authorized to operate as a financially autonomous entity and make independent investment decisions.

Journalist: Filomeno Martins

Editor: Nelia Borges


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