IFC, a member of the World Bank Group and the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets, has established a presence in Malaysia to support the country’s efforts to foster greater sustainable, resilient, and inclusive economic growth.

IFC said in a statement on Tuesday that the firm has in last year outlined strategic priorities in Malaysia focused on enhancing productivity through innovation and digitalization, facilitating an inclusive and resilient recovery, and accelerating the country’s response to climate- and nature-related risks.

It has since built a pipeline of potential investments in the country that align with its strategic priorities.

Nicolas Marquier, who was recently appointed to oversee IFC’s operations in Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam in addition to his existing role as Country Manager for Singapore, has begun putting staff on the ground in Kuala Lumpur to support the growth of IFC’s program in Malaysia.

IFC will co-locate its operations with the World Bank’s offices in Sasana Kijang, a facility established by Bank Negara Malaysia as a center of regional and international knowledge and collaboration in central banking and financial services, which hosts multiple international organizations.

“Malaysia has ambitions to become more prosperous, inclusive, and sustainable, but the public sector cannot achieve these ambitions alone, especially in the wake of a multitude of crises, from COVID-19 to climate change” said Kim-See Lim, Regional Director for East Asia and the Pacific at IFC.

“The private sector is essential in supporting the country as it strives to achieve its growth ambitions,

“With our extensive track record advancing economic development and improving the lives and livelihoods of people by encouraging the growth of the private sector in emerging markets around the world, IFC is the ideal partner for Malaysia as it transitions to a greener, more resilient, and more inclusive economy,” he added.

IFC’s staff in Malaysia will work closely with operational teams across the region to identify impactful investment and advisory opportunities in the country.

Focus areas include supporting companies moving into smart manufacturing, deepening regional trade and boosting Malaysia’s competitiveness through investments in transport, logistics and digital infrastructure, addressing micro, small and medium-sized enterprise and gender-financing gaps, building nascent markets for sustainable and affordable-housing finance, and supporting the country in its climate commitments through investments in clean energy and the circular economy.

IFC will also support Malaysian companies in their ambitions to expand in emerging markets around the world, as well as less developed and underserved parts of the country.

Malaysia’s economy has transformed from being heavily reliant on agriculture and commodities to having strong manufacturing and services sectors and a leading electrical and electronic products export industry.

Under the Twelfth Malaysia Plan, 2021-2025, the government has outlined its ambitions for a prosperous, inclusive, and sustainable Malaysia, with a focus on enhancing productivity, fostering inclusive growth, and addressing climate change, among other focus areas.

The private sector will play a critical role in helping Malaysia achieve its ambitions.

Supporting a green, resilient, and inclusive recovery in East Asia and the Pacific is IFC’s priority in the region, where its investments totaled more than $5 billion in fiscal year 2022, including $2 billion in funds mobilized from other investors.

In FY22, IFC committed $700 million in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, while allocating $1.2 billion to climate projects across the region.

IFC works in more than 100 countries, using its capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries.

In FY22, it committed a record $32.8 billion to private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity as economies grapple with the impacts of global compounding crises.

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