MOGADISHU, March 31 (Xinhua) -- World Bank's political risk insurance arm, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) said Tuesday Somalia has become the 182nd member of the agency, a key part of accessing international private investment capital.
Hiroshi Matano, MIGA executive vice president, said Somalia's membership affords it new opportunities for drawing foreign direct investment and fostering economic growth in the coming years.
"In the face of the coronavirus outbreak and uncertainty about the capacity in Sub-Saharan Africa to respond, Somalia's membership with MIGA marks an important milestone toward realizing the country's long-term goals of economic growth and prosperity," Matano said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.
The country's membership follows normalization of its financial ties with the World Bank lately.
Since re-engaging in 2013, the World Bank program in Somalia has targeted the re-establishment of core government functions, including public finance management, economic governance and laying the foundations for longer-term sustainable development and poverty reduction.
Abdirahman Duale Beileh, the Somali finance minister, said the country's vibrant private sector is key to the government's national development, economic prosperity and social progress.
"Membership in MIGA will ensure support to our private sector as well as foreign investors to expand, invest and create opportunities to enable sustainable development at a crucial time for the global economy," said Beileh.
According to MIGA, while Somalia has a vibrant and resilient private sector with high potential for investment and growth, its current challenges include the need to improve business regulation, enhance trade facilitation and transparency, and manage security risks.
MIGA said its experience working in other conflict-affected states will inform its dialogue with prospective investment partners on these and other important issues.
The World Bank arm said it has already begun discussions with funds interested in investing in Somalia, including in the agribusiness and small and medium-sized enterprise finance sectors as well as opportunities in the ICT and energy.
MIGA said it will also look at opportunities with the Somali diaspora to identify opportunities for further high-impact foreign investment that will spur economic development and growth in Somalia.