The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the investment arm of the World Bank, has appointed a new regional head of operations in Hong Kong to help accelerate its climate and sustainability efforts in the region.
Anna Ng will be responsible for facilitating and overseeing strategy, investment and advisory programs, as well as funding efforts in East Asia and the Pacific, according to a statement on Tuesday.
She will work closely with the regional investment and advisory teams to help facilitate cross-border investments and capital raising between Hong Kong-based companies and financial institutions in emerging markets and developing economies globally.
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“Climate change, financial inclusion, trade barriers and sustainable infrastructure gaps are just some of the many challenges facing emerging markets and developing economies in East Asia and the Pacific,” Ng said in the statement. He said Hong Kong’s private sector provides many of the solutions needed to address them, from climate finance to sophisticated trade and logistics infrastructure.
Anna Ng, IFC’s regional head of operations for East Asia and the Pacific. Photo: Handout alt=Anna Ng, IFC’s regional head of operations for East Asia and the Pacific. Photo: Handout>
“This makes it an important regional hub to catalyze cross-border investment and mobilize capital to improve lives and livelihoods not only in the region but globally.”
Ng joined IFC in 2017, having previously worked for the Government of Singapore in various roles. Previously, he served as IFC’s Senior Country Officer for Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore.
According to the IFC, Ng “made significant contributions to enhancing IFC’s knowledge and business partnerships with government and private sector clients in Singapore, and was instrumental in establishing IFC’s presence in Malaysia”.
“Economic growth in the region has lifted millions of people out of poverty. However, overlapping crises have deepened inequalities and hampered growth,” Kim-Si Lim, IFC’s regional director for East Asia and the Pacific, said in a statement. Years of gains have been wiped out.” “Having someone of Anna’s caliber to lead our campaigns in the region and advance our work in Hong Kong is critical to our mission to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity.”
IFC opened its Hong Kong office in 2000 to support operations in East Asia and the Pacific. Over the past decade, its Hong Kong-based team has financed investments worth more than US$4.5 billion for 84 projects in 16 countries across the region.
In July 2020, IFC approved an investment of up to US$100 million in Alba Group Asia to support its recycling and waste management projects in China.
In June 2017, IFC signed an agreement with Prudential’s Asian asset management business, EastSpring Investments, to raise US$500 million to finance sustainable infrastructure projects in emerging markets.
In November 2020, IFC and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) launched the Coalition for Green Commercial Banks to help banks develop solutions to tackle climate change in emerging markets.
A year later, IFC and HKMA launched a US$3 billion global platform for climate-smart investments in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit human-induced global temperature rise to 1.5°C.
The program combines institutional and investor contributions with IFC’s own funds to scale up climate-responsible financing for private companies in emerging markets.
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