22 February 2012
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and South Korean multinational steelmaker Posco signed an agreement in Johannesburg last week to cooperate on business development in sub-Saharan Africa.
Under the year-long memorandum of understanding, the two organizations will work together closely to identify and pursue investment opportunities in manufacturing, mining and infrastructure in the region.
The IFC said in a statement last week that the pact reflected “the growing interest of international project sponsors in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the IFC’s increasing involvement in South-South investment – projects executed in Africa by companies from newly developed countries or other developing countries.
“Such investments encourage smoother capital flows and promote high standards that are critical for Africa’s economic development.”
Young-Hoon Lee, Posco’s senior vice-president and head of strategy, said Africa was an increasingly important part of the global economy.
“Posco and its affiliated companies have a growing interest in finding new investment opportunities in Africa in the steel manufacturing, natural resource development, infrastructure, energy and information technologies sectors,” Lee said.
Saleem Karimjee, the IFC’s country manager for southern Africa, said the IFC wanted to help investors from other dynamic, rapidly growing economies to find opportunities in Africa.
“The IFC has a strong presence across the region, experience in a range of sectors, global expertise and high standards that can help our partners succeed in profitable and sustainable businesses in Africa,” Karimjee said.
Posco is one of the largest steel production companies in the world, involved in engineering and construction, power generation and natural resource development through its various subsidiaries.
Last week’s meeting in Johannesburg, where the MOU was signed, was followed by joint sessions on the manufacturing, mining and infrastructure sectors.
“Staff from both organizations will maintain close contact over the next year to explore opportunities for joint business development,” the IFC said.