The majority of growth in global markets over the next 50 years will take place in the developing world, Mats Karlsson, vice president for external and U.N. affairs for the World Bank, told representatives of Atlanta companies during a recent presentation at the World Trade Center Atlanta.

He encouraged Georgia firms to take advantage of the more than 40,000 contracts awarded through development agencies each year to private companies interested in tapping into developing world markets.

He also suggested that local businesspersons subscribe to “Development Business,” a U.N publication detailing business opportunities available through the World Bank and regional development banks, to keep abreast of possible international projects.

Afghanistan’s current situation in particular, Mr. Karlsson said, highlights the continued need for such foreign investment in developing countries.

He noted that the World Bank has committed to provide $50-$70 million in immediate grant assistance to Afghanistan, and will propose to its shareholders an additional $500 million in concessional assistance over the next 30 months.

Mr. Karlsson also advocated support for the World Trade Organization development agenda, outlined during recent trade negotiations in Doha, Qatar, that calls for a reduction in trade barriers to benefit developing countries. 

A joint assessment report detailing Afghanistan’s economic recovery requirements, conducted by the Asian Development Bank, the U.N. Development Program and the World Bank, is available on-line at

To subscribe to “Development Business,” contact (202) 458-2397 or e-mail Contact Mr. Karlsson’s office at (202) 458-5914.