PSLO Program FAQs

Here are some answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the PSLO network:

What is the Private Sector Liaison Officer (PSLO) Network?

The PSLO network is a network of business intermediary organizations that work to foster trade and investment between countries with the support of the WBG’s products and services.  Examples of business intermediary organizations include: chambers of commerce and industry, business and trade associations, and investment promotion agencies.

Launched in Europe in January 1999, the PSLO network is a joint World Bank, International Finace Corporation (IFC) and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) initiative to promote and strengthen the relationship between the World Bank Group (WBG) and the private sector.  The PSLO creates a single access point to the WBG for the private sector. 

There are 93 PSLOs currently operating in 72 countries (60 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, 16 in South and East Asia, 17 in North and South America).  By 2008, the Network will include 100 PSLOs--60 in Europe, Middle East &  Africa, 20 in South & East Asia and 20 in North & South America

Who are the PSLOs and what do they do?

The Network consists of liaison officers--private sector communications professionals--appointed, based in, and financed by their respective business organizations.

  • Opportunities / Networking: Facilitate companies’ access to WBG business opportunities, services, and knowledge.
  • Policy Dialogue: Act as the voice of their national private sector in advising the WBG on how to better engage companies on development issues. 
  • WBG Business Opportunities: IBRD Procurements, IFC financial products and advisory services, and MIGA technical assistance for investment promotion and political risk insurance. 
  • PSLO Activities: Information dissemination on WBG and its business  opportunities;  consultations for WBG staff on development issues of common interest to the private sector; procurement seminars; investment forums on specific countries, regions or topics; and business delegations to Washington D.C. and to developing countries.

How is this a win-win program for the PSLO host organization and for the WBG?

The value for the sponsoring PSLO business organization is the potential to act as a single point of access for the World Bank Group of organizations.  Furthermore, the business organization will belong to a global network of like-minded business organizations trained and supported by the WBG.  The PSLO organization can leverage this position to add depth to its cadre of business services and to expand its membership. 

The business organization is provided with PSLO training twice a year to keep up-to-date on WBG policies and procedures.  It will have accesss to WBG speakers for events and missions to Washington, DC and developing countries.  It will have a dedicated WBG team to support the PSLOs.

The value for World Bank Group is that the PSLO has the potential to create a dialogue with the private sector on WBG policies and activities.  The PSLO can increase awareness of and support for development and the WBG among the private sector.  The PSLO can also improve the access of companies to WBG business: IBRD\IDA procurements, IFC, MIGA, trust funds, and SME facilities.  The PSLO can also conduct private sector consultations on WBG policies and country programs (i.e. sector strategies and CASs).  Lastly, PSLO can build partnerships between WBG and private companies on development issues (i.e. HIV/AIDS, malaria, etc.).