BIO was incorporated by the law of 3 November 2001, published in the "Moniteur Belge" (Belgian Official Journal) of 17 November 2001, at the initiative of the Minister for Development Cooperation. The law was modified by the law of 20 January 2014.
BIO is a private company whose capital is held by the Belgian State (Ministry for Development Cooperation). Its early stage capital amounts to €5,000,000 and it makes investments using additional equity granted by the Ministry for Development Cooperation.
BIO enjoys decisional and operational independence, which provides the autonomy and flexibility it needs when analysing and evaluating the financing applications. Various control levels and processes ensure the efficient and correct use of its investment resources and the smooth implementation of its mission.
BIO operates according to a commercial logic inherent to its status and its development finance mission. The financial contributions made by BIO are not conditioned by the involvement of other Belgian players of any type (companies, banks, etc.), but do not exclude it either.
BIO is careful to ensure the additionality of its investments to avoid entering into direct competition with the local established financial sector. BIO’s role is to provide long-term financial products that are generally unavailable or inaccessible on the local markets.
All projects must demonstrate long term financial viability and have a lasting impact on the development of the country in question, whether in terms of employment, the environment or economic and social growth. BIO also sets out to provide added value, in particular by contributing to good governance, by backing pioneering concepts and/or new initiatives or by attracting other investors.
The BIO Board of Directors includes 12 members and one observer, Mr Peter Moors, General Director of the Development Cooperation. Two Government Commissioners, one appointed by the Ministry for the Budget (Mr. F. Blomme) and the other by the Minister for Development Cooperation (Mr. G. Beringhs), assist the Board of Directors to ensure that funds made available by the State are well managed.
The Board of Directors carries out a rigorous internal control based on regular reporting. It oversees the implementation of BIO’s mandate and has the final word on all investment projects.
The Belgian State has given BIO a clear and well-defined role and mission with strict criteria in terms of geographical targets, financing instruments and, above all, development impact. Various control levels and processes ensure the efficient and correct use of its investment resources and the smooth implementation of its mission. The management bodies are the Board of Directors, the Investment Committee, the Audit Committee, the Human Resource Committee and the Management Committtee. The file "Management Bodies" below lists the members and responsibilities of each committee.