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Multilateral development banks pivot to private sector

Friday, May 19, 2017

Subject

Encouraging more private sector participation in infrastructure development.

Significance

In April 2017 World Bank President Jim Yong Kim announced that the institution would increasingly focus on catalysing commercial capital for infrastructure development. This should provide impetus for public funds to be redeployed to leverage private investments, including in the poorest, riskiest countries. Aiming to be a ‘facilitator of capital’ as well as its historic function as a ‘provider of capital’, the World Bank will deploy new facilities and instruments for private sector participation, and increase its support for institutional, policy and regulatory reforms in developing countries.

Impacts

  • Scaled-up MDB operations in frontier economies will catalyse more private investment, particularly in fragile and conflict-affected states.
  • New World Bank facilities and instruments will channel more capital from institutional investors towards emerging markets infrastructure.
  • If World Bank repositioning is emulated by regional development banks, the entire landscape of development finance will be transformed.
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