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Emerging Market Health Care Companies Going International Is Theme of IFC Conference


IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is holding its biannual health care conference on April 18-20, 2007, in Washington, D.C., to explore the future of private health care, which is growing rapidly in developing countries, buoyed by economic growth at home and opportunities abroad. Emerging market operators are increasingly going international, to other emerging markets as well as industrialized countries. Conference participants will discuss the changes taking place, business prospects, and ways that companies can benefit from shared experiences and best practices as well as forge new links through cross-border investing.

More than 100 participants from over 20 countries are expected to attend. Panel discussions and presentations by leading analysts and practitioners will provide information for decision-makers on competing in the global marketplace. Major themes include innovative models, future trends, franchising, health cooperatives, insurance, and medical tourism. Discussions will place special focus on the experiences of companies from Brazil, China, India, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.

Speakers will include Paul Wolfowitz, World Bank Group President; Lars Thunell, IFC Executive Vice President; Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations; Hans Rosling, Professor of International Health, Karolinska Institute, Sweden; and Jackie Shevel, founder and former CEO, Netcare, South Africa. Guy Ellena, IFC Health and Education Director, will chair the conference.

According to Thunell, “Global spending on health care has risen substantially over the past decade. There is a demand for more and better services, and governments are embracing private sector participation—encouraged by the need for better quality and efficiency in health care systems. Nowhere is this need felt more keenly than in the emerging markets, where demand is presenting big opportunities both for local providers and multinationals.”


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