Our Mission

With the support of Development Partners, the Facility for Investment Climate Advisory Services (FIAS) supports projects and programs implemented by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) that aim to develop dynamic and resilient economies that promote economic inclusion through investment, innovation, job-creation, and higher productivity. Efforts to increase the competitiveness of developing country economies support their increased participation in international markets, produce better jobs, and contribute to the World Bank Group’s mission of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity on a livable planet and the IFC 3.0 Creating Markets Upstream strategy aimed at stimulating greater private sector investment in emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs). 


Through the FIAS Program, managed and implemented by IFC, FIAS and its Development Partners work together facilitate investment climate and business sector reforms in developing countries to foster open, productive, and competitive markets and to unlock sustainable private investment in sectors that contribute to growth and poverty reduction.

Vision and Purpose

Achieving the World Bank Group’s goal of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity on a livable planet means spurring investment and creating jobs in some of the world’s Least Developed Countries, including members of the International Development Association (IDA) as well as countries in fragile and conflict-affected situations (FCS), and countries in Sub-Saharan Africa—all priority areas for FIAS. Many of these countries seek the Bank Group’s help in improving their climate for domestic and foreign investment and spurring competition and growth in their business sectors with the greatest potential. FIAS provides essential support for IFC advisory and upstream projects and programs that deliver at the local, national, regional, and global level, with a focus on the most economically challenged countries. FIAS operates at the intersection of government and private enterprise to ensure that business environments—as reflected by laws, regulations, and other elements—enable private sector growth and avoid imposing unnecessary regulatory burdens. Through economy-wide and sector-specific work, FIAS aims to develop dynamic and resilient economies that promote economic inclusion through investment growth, private capital mobilization, economic diversification and innovation, and inclusive job-creation. FIAS supports an ambitious and proactive agenda that includes a strong programmatic focus on gender themes and greatly increased emphasis on helping clients build green and develop their digital economies. By increasing their economic competitiveness, FIAS helps developing economies attract greater domestic and foreign FIAS investment and increase their participation in international markets.

Creating Markets Upstream

FIAS has become a key source of support in enabling the development goals of the IFC 3.0 Creating Markets Upstream Agenda and building the private sector’s potential in IFC client countries. More recently, FIAS is expanding its portfolio to include projects aligned with the World Bank Group’s Evolution Roadmap and its focus on “a livable world,” a concept that encompasses social and environmental best practices, expanded opportunity for women and marginalized groups, and integration of climate mitigation and adaptation into development strategies. Upstream activities supported by FIAS help stimulate and create conditions in business sectors that result in the flow of private capital—domestic and foreign—into productive investment in IFC’s countries of operation. Sector upstream work can be accomplished as quickly as in a few months or take several years. It can entail both regulatory reforms that will unlock more private investment and the creation of projects that may lead to specific opportunities attractive to potential investors. The upstream approach recognizes that development institutions can no longer achieve their goals by waiting for investment opportunities to come along. Rather these institutions must work to create opportunities through proactive interventions and activities that support the creation and realization of specific projects, for which IFC is a likely financing partner.

The Challenge

Recovering and rebuilding from the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic requires immediate attention. The pandemic profoundly reshaped the global economic landscape, creating circumstances that require daring new approaches by governments, firms, and households to repair the damage as quickly as possible and embrace emerging opportunities. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, rising public debt, political uncertainty, trade tensions, and lower-than-expected growth in the major economies combined to flatten the growth curve of developing countries that experienced a decade of economic expansion since the global economic crisis of 2008. These challenging times have threatened to reverse a decades-long trend of declining extreme poverty. According to the World Bank’s latest Global Economic Prospects Report 2023, by the end of 2024, people in one out of every four developing countries will still be poorer than they were before the pandemic. These circumstances made the advisory work supported by FIAS in more than 80 developing countries all the more relevant. FIAS supports work in all six World Bank group regions with a focus on IDA, in Sub-Saharan Africa, and FCV countries. FIAS-supported projects are designed to align with other interventions by the World Bank Group, such as Development Policy Operations and IFC investments. The work continues thanks to the continued strong support of our Development Partners.