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World Bank and Private Sector

Overview

The World Bank Group works to accelerate sustainable and inclusive economic growth across regions and sectors. We play a critical role in building partnerships and creating new opportunities for the private sector.

Ending poverty and reducing inequality are ambitious goals. But the gap in funding between what is needed and what is available amounts to trillions of dollars each year. The only way to spur this level of investment is by creating new markets and bringing innovative solutions to developing countries. This is why the private sector must be involved.

Opportunities have never been greater for owners of capital to get a reasonable return while expanding their investments in developing countries.

But to enter these markets, private investors need better information on opportunities, and assurance that these present acceptable risks. For their part, many developing countries need help to attract and manage private capital. With our global outreach and local presence, the World Bank Group is a strategic advisor that can help link capital looking for greater returns with countries seeking to improve the lives of their people. 

Engagement

The World Bank Group has 70 years of experience working with governments and the private sector around the world. We have long-standing relationships in 189 countries, an international staff, offices in 140 countries, and deep expertise across regions and sectors.  We facilitate private investment through high-impact projects — for example, the Global Infrastructure Facility, which prepares and structures complex infrastructure public-private partnerships, and the Climate Change Action Plan to deliver investable projects in clean energy.  We coordinate closely with other organizations, agencies, and multilateral institutions that are working with the private sector.

The World Bank Group offers multiple channels and instruments to encourage the private sector to seek opportunities and engage in developing countries. These include:

Creating markets and matching opportunities: We help create markets by identifying new opportunities and unmet demand, sharing this information with the global business community, and helping governments build an environment that will open doors to private sector investment. We use a range of tools to understand country-level needs and risks, including our systematic country diagnostics

Building new markets for companies: Through operations in emerging markets and in high-risk, fragile, and conflict-affected environments, we have built considerable risk management expertise to help governments reform and enable business opportunities. We use technical expertise and financing to design solutions that link business interests and development impact. We help businesses successfully navigate new environments and increase their impact by connecting with local supply chains and strengthening relationships with local communities. We also offer credit enhancement instruments, political risk insurance, and payment and loan guarantees, which can be part of a package enabling new projects and transactions and unlocking better opportunities for private sector investment.  

Promoting investment opportunities for investors and financial institutions: We mobilize resources from capital markets, reflecting our financial strength. We are also working to mobilize additional capital for the 2030 Agenda, using a range of tools, platforms, and approaches to mitigate risks in emerging and high-risk markets.

In addition to issuing traditional Triple-A credit-quality products in several currencies, we offer innovative solutions that support responsible, sustainable investments while reducing associated risks. We have themed bonds, including green, social, peace, SDG Index-Linked, and catastrophe bonds. And in 2016, for the first time, IDA received Triple-A credit ratings, enabling it to raise money in capital markets to help finance life-changing investments in the world’s 75 poorest countries – from providing clean water and energy to creating opportunities for refugees and responding to natural disasters and health crises.

Building relationships to advance common goals: The World Bank Group forms alliances with CEOs and global business groups on initiatives that are of mutual interest and can advance development priorities such as the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition and Invest4Climate. We also partner with organizations like the World Economic Forum and join other public and private platforms to promote transformational change.