Unlocking Subnational Borrowing

IFC Expert Talk on Municipalities: Professor Paul Smoke

Cities drive growth and generate more than 80 percent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Rapid urbanization and population growth are driving the need for urban infrastructure and services, including affordable housing, clean water and sanitation, and transport.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC)–part of the World Bank Group–is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. By encouraging growth, IFC advances economic development, creates jobs and improves the lives of people.

In addition to its lending to the private sector, IFC is uniquely positioned to help mayors and municipal leaders meet the demands for urban infrastructure financing.

Sumeet Thakur, IFC’s Global Head for Water, Cities, Waste & Circularity, recently discussed the significance and challenges of subnational borrowing in emerging markets with Paul Smoke, Professor at New York University’s Wagner School of Public policy and Director of the Local Public Sector Alliance. The discussion sheds light on why subnational borrowing remains underutilized in many developing and transition countries around the world.

IFC has forged strategic partnerships with cities around the world, bringing in the private sector to address pressing urban and climate needs, helping municipal authorities build climate-resilient, sustainable cities.

Learn more about IFC’s subnational finance efforts: