IFC To Focus On COVID And Climate Finance To Help South Asia's Post-COVID Economic Recovery Efforts: IFC's New Regional Director

IFC To Focus On COVID And Climate Finance To Help South Asia's Post-COVID Economic Recovery Efforts: IFC's New Regional Director

July 21, 2021, 10:30 p.m.

IFC has appointed Hector Gomez Ang as Regional Director for South Asia. Based in New Delhi, he will play a critical role in boosting IFC’s investments in the region, as it looks to recover from the severe impacts of COVID-19.

In taking on the new role, Gomez Ang said the private sector had an essential role in South Asia’s recovery from COVID-19, easing the burden on constrained public finances and reducing rising levels of poverty, due to the pandemic.

“The pandemic has left a scar on countries throughout the region, exacting a huge human toll of which we must remain mindful. We must also accept that we may have to live with the lingering impacts of COVID-19 for some time to come, and so it’s all the more imperative to continue to work together to support jobs and economic growth,” Gomez Ang said. “That also means we must do what’s need to ensure private sector investments can flow to where it’s needed, and in industries we know can support economic activity.”

IFC’s focus in South Asia will continue to center on providing much needed liquidity to private sector companies in the region so they can maintain operations, preserve and create jobs. IFC will also look to further support the region’s most vulnerable people by helping deliver more funding for hard hit micro, small and medium sized enterprises as well as promoting green growth through investments in sustainable infrastructure, such as renewable energy and digital connectivity, to foster a greener, more resilient, and inclusive recovery from COVID-19.

"Given the significant shortfall of finances due to COVID and increasing climate emergency, we are using COVID and climate as cross-cutting entry points to find innovative solutions to the clear development challenges in the region," said Gomez Ang. "We stand with the people and governments of South Asia as we continue to invest in the region's private sector despite market uncertainties. We hope this will send strong signal to other investors and give them confidence to continue to invest in the region."

Gomez Ang said IFC’s work to ramp up its investments in climate-related projects was in line with the World Bank Group’s new Climate Change Action Plan, and IFC’s aims to aim to achieve 85 percent of its new operations to be aligned with the Paris Agreement by July 1, 2023 and 100 percent of these by July 1, 2025. IFC also sees a $2.8 trillion investment opportunity in countries such as India and Bangladesh in rebuilding for a green sustainable future.

"IFC will continue to prioritize climate investments in the region and help countries meet their nationally determined contributions under the Paris Accord," Gomez Ang said. " I look forward to continuing our work with the private sector and governments to build back a much more resilient and inclusive society and economy through a greater focus on innovation."

Gomez Ang previously served as Country Manager for Angola, Mozambique, Zambia, and Botswana, during which time he led the establishment of IFC’s operations in Angola. Prior to that he was Country Manager for Brazil, where he led the repositioning of IFC’s operations through the delivery of a strong investment program and advisory engagements with federal agencies and sub-national governments.

“Hector brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his new role that will be incredibly valuable in strengthening our work in South Asia,” said Alfonso Garcia Mora, IFC’s Vice President for Asia & Pacific. “Under his leadership, we are confident that we can grow the portfolio in a diversified manner and leverage all of IFC’s products and business lines to support clients and partners in their efforts to build a resilient future in the wake of COVID-19, by advancing critical agendas in climate, gender, and inclusive growth.”

A Mexican national, Gomez Ang joined IFC in Mexico City in 2006 as an Investment Officer, where he led business development in Mexico and Central America. He holds an MBA and Chemical and Systems Engineering degrees from Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico and an M.Sc. in Social Business and Entrepreneurship from the London School of Economics.

Gomez Ang succeeds Mengistu Alemayehu, who has assumed a new role as IFC’s Director of Global Equity Mobilization.

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