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World Bank Group : Partners with Korean Private Businesses to Invest in Emerging Markets

10/16/2012 | 03:44am US/Eastern

Seoul, October 16, 2012-In partnership with KoFC (Korea Finance Corporation), IFC and MIGA today hosted the Korea-World Bank Group Private Sector Seminar in Seoul to discuss opportunities to strengthen their partnership when making sustainable and profitable private sector investments in emerging markets. The forum discussed ways of bringing innovative private sector solutions, including financing, guarantees, and knowledge transfer, to more developing countries around the world. It marks a milestone in the partnership between the World Bank Group and South Korea.

"I'm proud to say that the World Bank Group has played a small but not inconsequential role in South Korea's success," World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim told around 300 private sector executives, government officials, and academics. "As we will now open an office in Seoul, we want to strengthen our collaboration with Korean businesses, investors, and entrepreneurs to identify promising opportunities in developing economies, ones that will contribute to ending poverty and creating shared prosperity."

South Korea joined the World Bank in 1955 and the World Bank Group extended its first funds to South Korea in 1962 when it was still a developing country. Today, South Korea is member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, whose members include some of the most developed economies around the world.

"We are committed to partnering with the World Bank Group, and in particular IFC and MIGA, to support more and more investments by Korean companies as they continue to enter new markets, including those where Korean companies may be less familiar, such as Africa," said Young-wook Chin, President and CEO of Korea Finance Corporation. "Sustainable investments in emerging markets will benefit our economy by promoting innovation and regional collaboration."

Since its first investment in South Korea in 1968, IFC, the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector, has invested and mobilized close to $1 billion in support of 44 Korean companies. IFC also played an active role in helping the country weather the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Today, IFC and MIGA are South Korea's partners in providing financing, advice and political risk mitigation solutions to the private sector in a number of developing countries including Haiti, Pakistan, Nepal, Laos, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, and Uzbekistan.

KoFC, since its establishment in October 2009, has been providing financial assistance to diverse domestic sectors that are important to Korea's economic growth. KoFC's financing also includes facilitating large-scale projects carried out by Korean companies around the globe, including in developing countries. KoFC's partnership with IFC has grown through a variety of channels including a Memorandum of Understanding in 2011.

MIGA Executive Vice President Izumi Kobayashi and IFC Asia Pacific Vice President Karin Finkelston joined Dr. Kim at the seminar and introduced the two multilaterals' experience in emerging markets. KoFC President & CEO Young-wook Chin and Executive Vice President Bong Sik Choi also took part and discussed ways for financial institutions to support developing country investments and introduced KoFC's plan to financially support Korea's overseas projects.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world's most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

About KoFC
Established according to the Korea Finance Corporation Act in 2009, KoFC is Korea's key policy-based financial institution.The Korean government contributed 100% of KoFC's paid-in capital. KoFC's role for the country's economic growth is diverse which includes supporting SMEs, facilitating regional development and SOC projects, promoting new growth engine industries, enhancing financial market stability, and fostering a sustainable growth. KoFC contributes to strengthening Korea's competitiveness, job creation by maximizing growth potential, and a sound growth of the country's national economy. For more information, visit www.kofc.or.kr.

About MIGA
MIGA was created in 1988 as a member of the World Bank Group to promote foreign direct investment into emerging economies to support economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve people's lives. MIGA fulfills this mandate by offering political risk insurance (guarantees) to investors and lenders, covering risks including expropriation, breach of contract, currency transfer restriction, war and civil disturbance, and non-honoring of sovereign financial obligations. For more information, visit www.miga.org.

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