The Vice President of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Georgina Baker, will analyze from today in Panama the needs of private investment in the Panamanian sectors of public services, housing of social interest and logistics, informed this organization of the World Bank Group.
With $ 938 million, Panama has the largest committed portfolio of IFC in Central America, and Baker's visit aims to "analyze the country's development needs, including the mobilization of private capital and the implementation of public-private partnerships to provide quality public services that support inclusive economic growth".
"To achieve sustained growth, Panama will be required to mobilize private investments that improve productivity and quality of life," Baker said in a public statement, highlighting the dynamism of the Panamanian economy, which expanded by 5.4 percent in 2017 and this year it will be around 4 percent.
According to the official agenda, the high official of the IFC will meet with the vice president and chancellor of Panama, Isabel De Saint Malo, and with the Minister of Economy and Finance, Eyda Varela de Chinchilla.
During his visit to Panama, Baker will also hold meetings with representatives of the banking sector, to address the financing of energy efficiency projects, small and medium-sized businesses, and affordable housing.
"One out of four Panamanians lives in precarious housing and the supply of mortgage loans is lacking. Access to financing for companies is also limited. In Panama, less than 20 percent of small businesses have a line of credit or loan banking, compared to 38 percent in Latin America as a region," the IFC reported.
Baker will also meet with clients of the Corporation of the infrastructure and energy sectors, the official statement said.
IFC "has a particularly active role in logistics and port projects and in the diversification of Panama's energy matrix through the financing of clean energy initiatives, such as the Penonomé wind farm and AES Colón, the first integrated generation project in energy based on liquefied natural gas in Central America," said the WB.
The IFC noted that Baker is heading a mission that includes the senior manager of IFC for Central America and the Caribbean, Luc Grillet, and other executives of the Corporation, who will also visit Costa Rica and Honduras, without specifying dates or the agenda in those countries.
In Central America, the IFC has a portfolio of committed investments of 2,600 million dollars, and in 2017 the Corporation's clients in the region contributed with 11,450 jobs, generated electricity for 850,000 people and provided 3,800 million dollars in financing for micro, small and medium-sized businesses, said the World Bank entity. EFE