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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs    27 June 2012

Philippine Company among winners of G20 Challenge

Los Cabos, Mexico, June 26, 2012 - (ACN Newswire) - The Group of 20 today announced the winners of the G20 Challenge on Inclusive Business Innovation, a global competition managed by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group. Manila Water Company of the Philippines was among the winners.

Ambassador Rogelio Granguillhome, Executive Secretary of the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation and Chair of the G20 Development Working Group, presented the awards at a ceremony here.

The world's leading economies launched the G20 Challenge to rapidly expand commercially viable businesses that serve the large numbers of low-income people that constitute the base of the global economic pyramid. Its goal is to identify, showcase, and support innovative business models that can be replicated across developing countries.

"The winners demonstrate that commercially viable companies can also provide economic opportunities for poor people - along with better access to clean water, electricity, health care, education, housing, phone services, and financial services" said Lars Thunell, IFC Executive Vice President and CEO. "They provide impressive models for others to follow."

The 15 winners together reach more than 40 million people living at the base of the economic pyramid - as suppliers, distributors, retailers, or customers - in more than 10 countries. The winner from the Philippines, Manila Water Company, provides clean water and sewage facilities to more than 6 million people in 23 cities and municipalities in greater Manila. In addition to charging inexpensive rates and accepting flexible payment methods, Manila Water Company also runs "livelihood programs." Tubig Para sa Barangay - or "Water for the Poor" - provides a 24-hour supply of safe, affordable drinking water to low-income customers. Another program, which targets public institutions in marginalized communities, has improved the water facilities for more than 1.5 million people by installing washing facilities and drinking fountains in schools, hospitals, jails, markets, and orphanages.

The full list of winners:

- Agrofinanzas (Mexico), which helps improve the lives of rural Mexican farmers and food producers by providing financing to them.

- Apollo Hospitals Group (India), which helps provide specialized medical services in India's underserved rural areas and smaller towns.

- Bakhresa Grain Milling (Malawi), which helps local entrepreneurs build businesses that entail selling baked goods.

- Brilla, a program launched by Promigas (Colombia) to help people finance home improvements, microbusinesses, schooling, and appliance purchases.

- Corporacion Universitaria Minuto de Dios (Colombia), which makes higher education more accessible by offering loans to students in Colombia.

- Ecofiltro (Guatemala), which manufactures low-cost water filters that can be assembled using local materials and labor.

- Engro Foods Limited (Pakistan), which helps small dairy farmers in rural Pakistan join the formal economy.

- Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd. (India), which provides irrigation systems to farmers in several developing countries, improving their yields by up to $1,000 per acre.

- Manila Water Company (Philippines), which provides safe, affordable drinking water.

- Millicom (Luxembourg), which provides affordable and accessible mobile services and solutions, including financial services, to customers in emerging markets in Latin America and Africa.

- Reybanpac Unidad de Lacteos (Ecuador), which helps combat malnutrition by providing affordable high-protein dairy drinks with milk purchased from small farmers.

- Sustainable Harvest Coffee Importers (United States), which helps small coffee farmers in Central and South America and East Africa improve their lives by buying their coffee at fair prices.

- Tenda Atacado Ltda (Brazil), which supports small business in Brazil by extending credit to microentrepreneurs with no credit history.

- VINTE Viviendas Integrales (Mexico), which provides affordable and eco-friendly housing to low- and middle-income families in Mexico.

- Waterlife India Private Limited (India), which builds and runs water-purification plants to provide safe and affordable drinking water.

Since 2005, IFC has invested over $6 billion in more than 200 companies that focus on inclusive business models, in more than 80 countries around the world, reaching more than 200 million people. IFC's Inclusive Business Models Group, launched in 2010, promotes the sharing of experiences in inclusive business models and connects people, resources, and ideas in support of its clients.

For more information about the winners and the innovative business models they and others created, please

For information about the contest judges and the selection process, please

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities - all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information,

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AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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