KUWAIT: The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is available and rendered to the Kuwaiti public and private sectors to boost their cooperation and achieve the state’s comprehensive development plan, said an official on Tuesday. Speaking to KUNA, Hela Cheikhrouhou—Regional Vice President, Middle East, Central Asia, Turkey, Afghanistan, and Pakistan—said her visit to Kuwait mainly aimed at exploring venues of cooperation with the private sector and identifying the capabilities of Kuwaiti companies to enter the emerging market.

Cheikhrouhou stressed that it is important to bolster cooperation between the public and private sectors in Kuwait, revealing that she would be meeting with several officials from the government and private entities during her visit. Cheikhrouhou reiterated that the IFC was a pioneer in public and private sector partnerships, generating $46 billion since 2004 to provide better services to some 150 million individuals globally. The IFC had previously worked on projects with the Kuwaiti private sector, she revealed.

The IFC official added that the corporation had worked with Kuwait’s Zain telecommunication company on four projects in Iraq and Malawi, providing financial facilities worth $261 million and earning $414 million through the network expansion projects. The IFC had worked with several countries in the region, pointed out Cheikhrouhou, revealing that the corporation worked with Jordan last March and invested in “green bonds” in cooperation with the Jordan Kuwait Bank (JKB) to fund environmentally friendly projects in the kingdom.

She expressed hopes of building new partnerships with Kuwaiti companies to boost development within Kuwait and also abroad, affirming that there were real opportunities for such collaboration. Back to IFC efforts, Cheikhrouhou said that the corporation's investments beyond borders had reached $4.7 billion, stretching over 170 projects worldwide. This fiscal year, the IFC had allocated $43 billion in funds directed towards special financial institutions in developing countries, said the official, affirming that the corporation believed in the role of the private sector in combating poverty and providing job opportunities.

She affirmed that countries in the GCC had an unrivaled opportunity to boost investments in the sustainable development domain in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. She noted that there were real indicators that GCC countries were leading the way in this domain, with reports displaying that the sustainable development finances of Gulf countries had jumped from $600 million in 2021 to $8.5 billion in 2022. The IFC is one of the members of the World Bank and operates in over 100 countries, utilizing its capital and expertise to prepare markets and provide opportunities in developing countries. - KUNA