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IFC Launches Project to Build Alternative Dispute Resolution in Egypt


In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa
Phone: +202 24 619 140
E-mail: rmustafa@ifc.org

Cairo, Egypt, May 13, 2010—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, launched a project in Egypt to further reduce the costs of doing business by helping settle commercial disputes more quickly and easily, releasing trapped assets and furthering growth.

IFC, in collaboration with the Cairo Regional Center for International Commercial Arbitration, is on May 11 holding a conference to raise awareness about the benefits of mediation as a way to solve disputes. “Egypt as a Regional Platform for Alternative Dispute Resolution in the Arab World” will bring together government officials, private sector representatives and lawyers.

Dr. Nabil Elaraby, Director of the Cairo Regional Center for International Commercial Arbitration, said, “Working with IFC to improve mediation services in Egypt will help address some of the obstacles businesses face and encourage more to join the formal sector.”

Following the conference, IFC will work with different stakeholders from the public and private sectors to build mediation skills and raise awareness about commercial mediation. IFC will also offer assistance on implementing more efficient and less expensive conflict resolution mechanisms for businesses.

Jesper Kjaer, IFC Senior Manager for the Middle East and North Africa, said, “Building on the success of our work in developing the market for alternative dispute resolution in Morocco and Pakistan, bringing mediation services to Egypt will greatly enhance the competitiveness of Egyptian firms, particularly smaller businesses.”

Contract enforcement represents a major challenge to improving the investment climate in Egypt. According to the World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2010, Egypt was ranked 148 out of the 183 economies under the contract enforcement indicator. The report noted that it takes a minimum of three years to enforce a contract, with the enforcement cost equaling approximately 26 percent of the value of the claim.

In the Middle East and North Africa, IFC’s Alternative Dispute Resolution program is active in Pakistan and Morocco. Over a period of three years, commercial mediation has helped the private sector release $16 million and $35 million worth of assets in Pakistan and Morocco, respectively.  Through the use of newly established commercial mediation services, IFC’s programs have led to an estimated private sector savings of $6 million in Pakistan and $12 million in Morocco.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing capital for private enterprise, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.