KfW was founded on 18 November 1948 to finance the reconstruction of Germany. Seventy years later, the challenges that face us as a promotional bank have grown larger still. Nothing less than the future of our planet is at stake.
We are lucky enough to live in a time that will determine our planet’s future. The world of tomorrow will emerge when the international community strives to reduce CO₂ levels, when companies decide to invest in the digital transformation, when families build energy-efficient and barrier-free homes, and when political forces join together to address the root causes of migration. Today, 70 years after KfW’s foundation, we decide whether we can sustain and improve our prosperity and level of development for posterity – advances for which the generations before us fought and worked so hard.
We live in an era that calls for role models. We would call such people forward thinkers. These may be people or institutions that think ahead, dare to try new approaches and lead the way for us all. Start-up entrepreneurs, builders, innovative enterprises, charities and trailblazing governments. They need support to help them bear the risks they have assumed. Anyone who receives a loan or financial contribution from KfW is one of these urgently needed forward thinkers. I am convinced that promotional banks are more important now than ever before!
A promotional bank like KfW is a political instrument of the German Federal Government – particularly in terms of economic, development and climate policies. We can issue reduced-interest loans, guarantees, equity investments and grants to provide promotional support in areas relevant to the future, to ensure the proper course is set. This is why we direct our products towards increasing energy efficiency, solidifying Germany as a hub of innovation and protecting the global climate. Specifically, environment and climate-related financing now makes up 43% of our business volume. Our commitments in financial cooperation with developing countries and emerging economies are also increasing, with a focus on projects to address the root causes of migration.
”We live in an era that calls for role models.“
But a tree cannot grow without strong roots. For this reason, KfW will always remain an institution with great respect for our own history, which is closely intertwined with the history of the Federal Republic of Germany. KfW started up exactly 70 years ago. Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau ( translated Loan Corporation for Reconstruction) was founded on 18 November 1948 to finance the reconstruction of Germany with funds from the European Recovery Program (also known as the Marshall Plan).
Today, we can be thankful and proud as we look back on 70 years embracing responsibility for our society and our planet. We can benefit from the experience KfW has acquired. As a modern, efficient and customer-focused promotional bank, we are now in a position to make an economic impact – both in Germany and internationally. We are taking on an important role for important issues involving the environment, economy and society, as well as helping to master the challenges of the future.
Published on KfW Stories: Monday, 17 September 2018