The new IFC office has been established with the support of the Federal Ministry of Finance of Austria and will significantly strengthen the World Bank Group’s presence in ECA. It will host about 70 IFC staff with investment, advisory, and support functions under the leadership of IFC’s Director for the ECA region, Wiebke Schloemer.
Austrian Federal Minister Hartwig Löger stressed at the opening ceremony that with the addition of an IFC office, Vienna becomes one of the most important locations within the European Union for World Bank institutions. The government of Austria and Austrian companies have been long-term partners of IFC in the ECA region. Since 2005, IFC has invested over $837 million with Austrian companies to support projects in IFC’s operations globally. Ninety-six percent of these projects are in the region, particularly in the infrastructure and financial sectors. With the new office, IFC joins other international organizations that have chosen Vienna for regional hubs, such as the Organization of Security and Co-operation in Europe and several United Nations organizations, including the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. IFC has a $10 billion investment portfolio in ECA and 76 active advisory programs. Our work is focused on supporting competitiveness and diversification, strengthening the financial sector, improving infrastructure, and responding to demographic challenges.