IFC in South Asia

Continued strong growth in South Asia offers the best prospect for poverty reduction, but it depends on expanding social infrastructure and improving environmental sustainability so that the benefits of growth are widely shared and the growth is sustainable.

South Asia receives the lowest amount of foreign direct investment as a proportion of gross national product of any region in the world. Growth is generated largely by domestic investment, fueled by rising savings rates. Recently, India's strong growth and relatively well-developed capital markets have attracted record inflows of portfolio capital and private equity.

To grow opportunities for the underserved, IFC has concentrated on low-income, rural, and fragile regions in South Asia, while building infrastructure and assisting public-private partnerships; facilitating renewable energy generation; promoting cleaner production, energy, and water efficiency; supporting agriculture; creating growth opportunities for small businesses; reforming the investment climate; encouraging low-income housing; and making affordable health care accessible.

IFC is focusing its business development efforts on finding investment opportunities in frontier countries in the region and in frontier regions within India. Prospects for new investments in Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka are improving rapidly.

Through strategic investments and advisory efforts in the region, IFC aims to promote inclusive growth, particularly in the low-income states of India and postconflict and frontier parts of the region; help address the impacts of climate change; and encourage global and regional integration, including facilitating investments from South Asia into Africa.

IFC's commitments in the region totaled nearly $1.9 billion, including more than $300 million mobilized from other investors. IFC is working to expand access to services and sustainable infrastructure and to boost regional integration, with a special focus on frontier regions.

In fiscal 2014, IFC's clients in South Asia cared for 15.5 million patients and provided 130.6 million phone connections. In the financial sector, IFC supported about 6.7 million loans to micro, small, and medium enterprises.

MIGA in South Asia

MIGA provides political risk insurance (guarantees) for projects in abroad range of sectors in developing member countries, covering all regions of the world. Recent guarantees issued by MIGA for companies investing in South Asia support agribusiness and telecommunications in Afghanistan; power in Bangladesh; and power, banking, and manufacturing in Pakistan.

Data Resources on South Asia

data.worldbank.org/region/SAR

Research on South Asia

worldbank.org/en/region/sar/research

 
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