South Asia

Private sector investment is essential if the world is to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity by 2030. In South Asia, IFC helps the private sector to create opportunity where it’s needed most by helping sustain and create jobs, improving services for people, expanding access to financial services and promoting inclusive growth.  A key focus of IFC’s work in the region is helping countries meet their climate goals.  

Select a Region Sub navigation page selecting option, jump to that section

We help boost sustainable economic growth in the region by supporting infrastructure building and improvements to logistics, expanding the use of renewable energy, promoting cleaner production, creating opportunities for smaller businesses, and facilitating public-private partnerships. 

At a Glance

In FY22, IFC provided nearly $2 billion in long-term investments in South Asia, including $385 million mobilized from other investors. Our clients provided nearly 24 million loans to micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises, totaling nearly $79 billion. Our clients cared for 18.8 million patients.

Impact of IFC clients in 2021

  • 328 K
    Jobs created via direct investments
  • 368 K
    Jobs created by fund investee companies
  • 848 M
    In payments to governments as results of IFC direct investments
  • 1.38 B
    In payments to governments by Fund Investee Companies

Areas of Focus

IFC promotes inclusive growth in South Asia by improving infrastructure and financial services, and by supporting the expansion of smaller businesses.

We make strategic investments and advisory interventions across India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives, to promote inclusive growth, help address climate change impacts, and encourage global and regional integration.

Capital Markets


IFC has launched two large offshore and onshore programs in India, mobilizing international capital markets to support infrastructure development. We are deepening capital markets for other countries including Bangladesh and introducing thematic bonds in the region.



Bangladesh’s garment sector accounts for 20 percent of the country’s GDP and employs over 4 million people. IFC is helping facilitate investments, improve construction and fire safety, labor and environmental standards, and establish the conditions for it to grow in a sustainable way.

Financial Inclusion

Over 650 million people are unbanked in South Asia. IFC is tapping opportunities to enhance access to financial services and leveraging innovative technology solutions to extend financial inclusion.


South Asia has one of the largest economic gender gaps, reflected in low female labor force participation and women’s low access to assets and mobility. IFC’s work on gender in the region focuses on enabling more and better-quality jobs for women, promoting financial inclusion (particularly for women owned SMEs) and expanding digital access and market connections for women entrepreneurs.

Infrastructure and Energy

Close to 500 million people across South Asia are not connected to the grid. IFC is working to improve critical infrastructure and invest in clean energy solutions that also enable better regional integration.


Jobs and Entrepreneurship

Every month, one million people enter South Asia’s work force. IFC’s investments in financial institutions supports small and medium enterprises and help build skills through our knowledge tools such as the Business Edge and the SME Toolkit.


IFC is working to accelerate access to broadband technologies in South Asia such as optic fiber and 4G, and related infrastructure, including towers and datacenters.

Latest Stories