The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has doubled its investments in Pakistan from the previous year, committing around $1.5 billion in short- and long-term investments for fiscal year 2023. The IFC, a member of the World Bank, focuses on the private sector in emerging markets and aims to provide jobs, improve productivity, promote gender inclusion, and address climate change impacts in Pakistan. Last year, the IFC invested in agriculture and healthcare, supporting local farmers and distributors and assisting healthcare provider Alliance Healthcare in expanding its hospitals. The IFC also focused on strengthening the banking sector and supporting manufacturing, export-oriented industries, and smaller businesses. It collaborated with the State Bank of Pakistan to redefine environmental and social risk management frameworks and launched the ‘Climate2Equal’ Initiative to increase female participation in climate-related actions. Agreements were made with companies such as Gul Ahmed Textiles, CCL Private Pharmaceuticals, and Unity Foods to enhance resource efficiency and gender diversity. Zeeshan Sheikh, IFC’s country manager for Pakistan and Afghanistan, highlighted the commitment to the country’s private sector and the focus on facilitating access to finance, sustainable infrastructure, and export-oriented industries. The IFC is also supporting the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority in upgrading airports. The IFC will continue to evaluate new opportunities in areas like water, waste management, and sustainable infrastructure while enhancing access to finance and supporting digital infrastructure and venture capital/startups. Since 1956, the IFC has invested approximately $11 billion in Pakistan, supporting various sectors such as renewable energy, financial inclusion, and trade.
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