The World Bank and its subsidiary, International Financial Corporation (IFC), have earmarked a package of $50 billion to help industries around the world that are facing the heat of the global meltdown.
Speaking on the sidelines of a workshop on managing risks during good times and bad, Jun Zhang, IFC manager for South Asia said: “The package is shared between IFC and the World Bank, with IFC contributing $10 billion and the World Bank contributing the balance $40 billion.”
“We have stepped up efforts to help medium scale industries ride the slowdown in India as these industries are a part of our strategic focus for India,” said Vipul Bhagat, manager, infrastructure advisory services, South Asia department, IFC.
The organisation had committed a portfolio of $3.1 billion to various sectors for infrastructure development in India up to June 2008. “Infrastructure is a key priority for India and IFC,” said Bhagat.
Giving a keynote address at the workshop, World Bank’s chief economist and senior vice-president Justin Yifu Lin said in addition to fiscal interventions, investments in high return opportunities in emerging economies was the need of the hour. “Investments in sectors such as infrastructure and measures to create demand quickly and efficiently are what’s needed most,” he said.
“A lot of domestic demand is pushing things forward for India and this provides many opportunities to invest in the country,” said Bhagat, who said India would be able to weather the crisis better than other countries.
“India’s economic growth has remained strong and that has cushioned the blow of any negative external crisis for the country,” said Michael Higgins, principal banking specialist- global financial markets, IFC.