February 1: The International Finance Corporation (IFC) on Wednesday announced the appointment of Riccardo Puliti as its new regional vice president for Asia and the Pacific. According to IFC, which is a member of the World Bank Group, Puliti will oversee IFC’s regional efforts in spurring private sector growth and identifying impactful collaborations for a green, resilient, and inclusive recovery, in response to multiple crises and a deteriorating global economic outlook.
Economies in the Asia and Pacific region continue to suffer from COVD-19 disruptions, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and tightening global financial conditions, including through higher food and energy prices, the IFC said citing the World Bank’s latest Global Economic Prospects report adding weaker global growth and more frequent disruptive weather events linked to climate change threaten to dampen the region’s growth trajectory.
In taking on the role as IFC’s Vice President for Asia and the Pacific, Puliti stressed the need for more private sector investment, given the limited fiscal space of countries in the region, a statement issued by IFC reads.
“With the global economy facing multiple headwinds this year, there is an urgent need for more private investment in the region to create jobs and boost output,” the statement quoted Puliti as saying. “With the right policies in place to attract and incentivize new investment, countries can leverage private sector financing to help meet their large unmet investment needs. The reality is investment growth in emerging markets and developing economies in Asia and the Pacific – as in the rest of the world – remains below the average rate of the last two decades. That must be turned around as history tells us strong investment growth delivers dividends. It is also vital for climate targets and to progress the development of clean, renewable and affordable energy and seize all the opportunities digital infrastructure can deliver for the region’s people.”
An Italian national, Puliti most recently served as the Vice President for Infrastructure at the World Bank, leading the Bank's global efforts to build effective infrastructure in developing and emerging markets. Previously, Puliti served as Regional Director, Infrastructure, Africa, and before that as Global Director, Energy & Extractives. Before joining the World Bank Group, Puliti was Managing Director at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
“Asia and the Pacific is one of the most vulnerable regions to climate shocks, underscoring the need for urgent action to protect the lives and livelihoods of billions of people,” Puliti said. “The region also needs to bridge the massive trillion-dollar infrastructure gap, limiting people’s access to basic services. Gender equality, digital growth, and capital mobilization are also key priorities as IFC continues to work to improve financial inclusion, strengthen health care systems, and increase access to finance for smaller businesses, as they are the engine of growth in the region and key incubators of jobs.”
Puliti holds an MBA from Instituto Superior de Estudios de la Empresa (IESE) and completed his postgraduate studies at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and Imperial College.