The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a lending window of the World Bank, has reiterated its commitment to work with Nepal in areas of development and investment. A senior level delegation, including Lars Thunell, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive of IFC, has been busy meeting with the Nepalese Prime Minster, Dr. Baburam Bhattarai as well as the finance minister, central bank governor as well as other government officials. The IFC considers Nepal a strategically important player and has been active in the country since 1970. Following a meeting with the Prime Minister, Thunell claimed with much enthusiasm, “IFC sees great potential in Nepal. We believe that the country can grow rapidly in the near future.”
IFC serves as an international finance advisor to the government and as a financier to the private sector, focusing on infrastructure, microfinance and financial sectors. Apart from essential infrastructure projects, including hydropower, IFC’S strategic agenda in Nepal includes access to finance for small and medium enterprises (SMES) particularly for women entrepreneurs, tourism and agribusiness.
In extensive meetings with government officials, Thunell explained IFC’S committed portfolio of $25 million for Nepal focusing on rebuilding infrastructure, including power, air transport, banking, microfinance and trade finance.
The IFC delegation included South Asia director Thomas Davenport, Asia infrastructure director Anita George and country manager for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal Kyle Kelhofer.