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IFC appoints Holtmann as country manager for Bangladesh, 2 other countries

International Finance Corporation (IFC) has appointed Martin Holtmann as the new Country Manager for Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal.

According to release of IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, Holtmann, based in Dhaka, will focus on developing new opportunities for private sector investments and increasing the financing agency’s impact investments as the region recovers from the impacts of COVID-19, reports UNB.

Holtmann, a German national, joined IFC in 2007.

Prior to his appointment, Holtmann was Global Sector Manager for Financial Inclusion, helping IFC to reach millions of micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) with traditional and digital financial services and strengthen more than 200 partner institutions through investment and advisory support.

“Martin’s background experience will be invaluable as IFC deepens its work in Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal,” said Hector Gomez Ang, IFC’s Regional Director for South Asia.

“This is a time of new challenges and opportunities and I am confident Martin will be successful in leading IFC’s efforts to strengthen and diversify its work in the three countries in support of a green and resilient recovery.”

Holtmann will work to promote IFC’s impact on climate, gender, and green growth, as well as build country portfolios and diversify investments in the private sector.

Some key sectors for future investment opportunities in the region include transport and logistics, clean energy, financial services, tourism, agribusiness, healthcare, and housing.

Commenting on his new role, Holtmann said, “I am very pleased to be working in Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. These countries have shown remarkable resilience in the face of strong economic headwinds and fiscal pressures and I look forward to redoubling IFC efforts to create markets and promote sustainable development.”

Holtmann is a graduate of the Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific, Canada and holds two master’s degrees in Economics from Trier University, Germany and in Public Administration from Harvard University, United States.

He succeeds Wendy Werner, who has taken on a new role as IFC’s Country Head in India, after successfully serving as the Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal Country Manager for six years.

Before joining IFC, Holtmann worked as Lead Financial Specialist at the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) in the World Bank, and as managing director of a consulting firm in the private sector. He is also one of the core authors of the 2022 World Development Report, “Financing for an Equitable Recovery”.

Since 2000, IFC has invested nearly $8 billion to help private sector growth in Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, IFC has provided a total of $270 million in working capital solutions to banks and liquidity support to companies.

These investments are helping keep businesses afloat, resume exports, and preserve jobs, and which are critical to sustaining national economies, said the IFC release.