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
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.
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.