The FINANCIAL — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has committed up to $200 million to the IFC Emerging Asia Fund (EAF), which this week reached a first close. IFC is joined by the Korea Development Bank (KDB) and the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF).
Central to the EAF is mobilizing additional capital in emerging markets of the Asia region, given the scale of investment, innovation, technological development and employment creation required for sustainable development in many low and middle income countries in the region falls beyond the range of the public sector, making the private sector central to finding and financing the development solutions that are needed, according to IFC.
Investments by the EAF will be aligned to IFC’s strategy for the region, which includes a focus on addressing the infrastructure deficit, and at the same time it will also help investee companies raise standards, improve risk mitigation and generate value.
“We are excited by the equity opportunities we see in emerging Asia and delivering further development impact through our clients,” said IFC Regional Director East Asia and Pacific, Vivek Pathak. “We are very pleased that major institutional investors such as KDB and FNPF are partnering with us to further IFC’s support of private sector development.”
The new global architecture for international development, the Sustainable Development Goals, launched at the United Nations in 2015, highlights that financing sustainable development requires low and middle income countries tap new sources of capital from both private and public sources, including leveraging global private capital to most skillful effect.
Two thirds of the world’s poorest people live in emerging Asia and yet it is the engine room of global growth being the fastest growing region and the largest continental economy by GDP in the world. This growth is a function of favorable dynamics such as the continued need for enhanced infrastructure, the emergence of a rapidly growing middle class and commitments by many governments in the region to political and economic reform. Combined, these dynamics have created significant opportunities for investment in the region including China, India, Indonesia, Philippines and Asian frontier markets such as Vietnam and Myanmar.