Response from BIO’s Board of Directors further to the article published on 28 February in Le Soir

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BIO is confident that its operations have a significant positive impact on the development of the local economy in underprivileged countries and on the improvement of living conditions of the local populations

A change in the investment policy could significantly reduce the financing volume granted by BIO to SMEs and the local population

BIO supports SMEs in developing countries in a wide range of sectors that create local jobs and local added value. Until today more than 240,000 jobs have been supported through BIO’s financing. In order to meet its objectives, BIO invests in local financial institutions and local SMEs and through investment funds that focus on local micro, small and medium-sized entrepreneurs. For the sake of efficiency, when BIO was set up, the legislator required that the investments should give precedence to indirect support, with a significant portion of the resources to be allocated to intermediary financial structures. All jurisdictions through which BIO operates demonstrate a level of transparency that meets OECD standards, comparable to the one that exists in Belgium. BIO co-invests in these jurisdictions with the World Bank Group, the European Investment Bank and other European development finance institutions*.

Moreover, by means of advanced assessments, BIO ensures the quality of the local teams that manage the investments funds and of the reliability of its other investment partners.

All investment decisions are made with the utmost transparency based on an analysis of their local development impact and are audited by two Government Commissioners who attend BIO’s Board of Directors.

The Board of Directors wishes to highlight the quality of the work that has been done by the institution over the last 10 years as well as BIO’s involvement in the promotion of the private sector in developing countries. BIO is acknowledged by its peers and cooperates with international development actors. The Board of Directors is ready to assess the further development of the institution’s investment modes. However, a change in the investment policy could significantly reduce the financing volume granted by BIO to SMEs and the local population. BIO evidently is in favour of an external evaluation such as the one that was performed back in 2007 and which came to positive and constructive conclusions about BIO’s indirect investment policy.

* See