The mission of the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO) is to support a strong private sector in developing and/or emerging countries, to enable them to gain access to growth and sustainable development with the aim to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
BIO invests directly in private sector projects and as such makes a structural contribution to the socio-economic growth of those host countries. Its mandate requires strict criteria in terms of geographical targets, financing tools and, above all, impact on development.
In developing countries, the informal economy is proof of great dynamism; however access to long-term finance and capital, without which companies cannot grow, is limited or impossible for a large chunk of the population. In fact, the banking system is often unsuited to the needs of small entrepreneurs and does not allow the emergence of income-generating activities.
Support for the private sector is therefore an essential link in the development cooperation chain, as it drives economic growth. By producing goods and services, local enterprises help improve the population’s living standards, accelerate technological developments and lower prices by stimulating competition and increasing the country’s tax base, which is essential for financing infrastructures, education and health.