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IFC invests more than $600 mln in China in financial year 2007

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, funded over $600 million in China's 30 projects in the financial year 2007 from July 1 of 2006 to June 30 of 2007.

The investment volume is similar to that of the financial year 2006, which totaled $639 million in 24 projects from July 1 of 2005 to June 30 of 2006, Lars Thunell, IFC executive vice president, said here on Saturday. The IFC provides 40% of its total investments and advisory services in China to help develop private sectors in the country's rural and less developed areas, said Lars Thunell. The IFC is also supporting China's financial reform by leveraging local banks as platforms to support small and medium-sized enterprises, rural finance, energy efficiency, affordable housing and trade finance, he said. Half of the IFC's investment in China in financial year 2007 went to the financial sector, said the vice president.

„The government is moving in the right direction both in the financial sector and developing in a more environmentally way, and the IFC is trying to support such efforts,” he said. On Friday, the IFC signed a memorandum of understanding with the Export-Import Bank of China, one of the country's major policy banks, to co-invest in Asia's emerging markets, including China itself, in a bid to advance private sector development and alleviate poverty.

China is IFC's third largest destination of investment and one of IFC's fastest growing client countries. Since its first investment in China in 1985, the IFC has provided $3.16 billion in 123 projects in the country by the end of 2006. (