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IFC/World Bank set up Joint Regional Office in Hong Kong (Issued by International Finance Corporation)

Prague, Czech Republic, September 26, 2000-As part of its strategy of decentralization to build tight relationships with clients and governments, the World Bank Group has opened a joint IFC/World Bank regional management office in Hong Kong. The hub office will bring IFC closer to its clients, sponsors, financial participants, and banking partners as well as handling new business in the area.

Mr. Jemal-ud-Din Kassum, the World Bank Vice President for East Asia and the Pacific, said the Hong Kong office would help coordinate the private sector activities of the World Bank Group, from policy advice on how governments can accelerate private investment to direct investment activity by IFC, including mobilization of financial and technical resources. Through the office, the World Bank will support the financial recovery process in Asia that was initiated in response to the East Asia crisis.

Mr. Assaad Jabre, IFC Vice President of Operations said the choice of location reflects Hong Kong's stature an important regional financial center in Asia, and a longstanding significant fund-raising center for IFC. He thanked the Hong Kong Monetary Authority for its help in setting up the office.

The Hong Kong hub office is headed by Mr. Javed Hamid, Director, who is responsible for all IFC activities in East Asia and the Pacific region as well the Private Sector Department activities of the World Bank.

IFC has been investing in East Asia since the late 1950's and current exposure is more than US$5 billion, including amounts held for the account of participants. IFC has an active ongoing program and expects to invest--including equity, quasi-equity, loans and guarantees--in excess of $600 million during the fiscal year ending June 2001. IFC now has 10 offices throughout East Asia and Pacific.

The mission of IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is to promote private sector investment in developing countries, which will reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.

International Finance Corporation

26 September 2000

IFC press releases are available on line at http://www.ifc.org/pressroom

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Last revision date: 1 August 2011
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