SINGAPORE - International Enterprise (IE) Singapore has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group, to help more Singapore companies access in-depth market insights and financing opportunities in the emerging markets of Africa, South-east Asia and South Asia.
Combining IE Singapore's wide network of 13 overseas centres across Africa and Asia, with IFC's deep financing knowledge and expertise in these markets, both agencies will co-host market-focused workshops for Singapore companies, sharing insights on potential business opportunities, financing landscapes and financing partners.
As part of their collaboration, IFC will also leverage Singapore's position as a regional infrastructure hub by hosting pre-bid meetings for Asian infrastructure projects.
"This close engagement with IFC will open more doors for Singapore companies to capture infrastructure project opportunities and provide them with in-depth market and financing insights to break into the markets," said Ms Kathy Lai, IE Singapore's deputy chief executive.
In financial year 2017 alone, IFC lent close to US$650 million to Singapore companies.
It secured financing for Singapore-based companies including Sembcorp Industries to provide a reliable supply of electricity in Bangladesh and Myanmar. In 2016, IFC provided a US$175-million loan to agribusiness firm Olam International to support the company's food-processing facilities in Nigeria and India, increasing food crop production to feed over four million people.
"As a leading emerging markets investor, IFC helps build strong local businesses which contribute significantly to employment, growth, competitiveness, and productivity," said IFC's director for East Asia and the Pacific Vivek Pathak.
"IFC's partnership with IE Singapore aligns with IFC's strategy to create new markets and work with governments to unlock potential for private sector investments at a greater scale," he added.
The World Bank is forecasting the growth of emerging markets to reach 4.1 per cent this year, driving their demand for infrastructure to meet economic and social needs.