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IFC’s Chief Promotes Private Sector Development in Visit to Algeria


In Algiers:
Nawal Merabet

Phone: 00 213 21546525

E-mail:
nmerabet@worldbank.org

In Cairo:

Riham Mustafa & Egidio Germanetti

Phone: 0020 2 461 9150 Ext. 306/314

E-mail:
rmustafa@ifc.orgegermanetti@ifc.org


Algiers, December 6, 2006—Lars Thunell, Executive Vice President of the International Finance Corporation, completed today a visit to Algeria, during which he emphasized private sector development as the most important engine of growth and job creation.
The two-day visit highlights IFC’s continuing commitment to its well-established partnership with Algeria. Thunell met with government officials and representatives from the local private sector. He was accompanied by Michael Essex, IFC’s director for the region.

“IFC is committed to helping Algeria realize its strong potential for private sector growth,” said Thunell. “We are working with the government, the World Bank, and other partners to improve the climate for private sector investment and create economic opportunities for the people of Algeria.”


In the coming months IFC will also focus on assisting the privatization process and developing the financial sector.  Efforts will include improving the availability of financial services to small and medium enterprises, encouraging private sector participation in infrastructure, and supporting the local private sector through investment and advisory services.

In fiscal year 2006, IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, increased its investments in Algeria to $34 million, up from no projects during the previous fiscal year. IFC made a $12 million investment in the Maghreb Private Equity Fund II, which is expected to enhance the competitiveness of leading companies in the Maghreb region by providing equity and other value-added services to smaller businesses as well as transferring strategic and operational skills to local entrepreneurs. Highlights from IFC’s portfolio include Arab Leasing Corporation, Algeria’s first leasing company and Arab Banking Cooperation Algeria.

IFC’s technical assistance facility for the region, the Private Enterprise Partnership for the Middle East and North Africa, is also involved in a number of technical assistance mandates in the country, mainly to promote the small and medium enterprise sector and improve the business environment for private sector development.

Thunell started his visit to the region in Egypt and is scheduled to end his trip in Morocco.


About IFC

The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is the largest multilateral provider of financing for private enterprise in developing countries. IFC finances private sector investments, mobilizes capital in international financial markets, facilitates trade, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to businesses and governments. From its founding in 1956 through FY06, IFC has committed more than $56 billion of its own funds for private sector investments in the developing world and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. With the support of funding from donors, it has also provided more than $1 billion in technical assistance and advisory services. For more information, visit
http://www.ifc.org/.

About PEP-MENA

IFC’s PEP-MENA is a multidonor facility for technical assistance that supports private sector development across the Middle East and North Africa region. The facility was launched in October 2004 as part of the G8 Broader Middle East initiative. PEP-MENA focuses on improving the business enabling environment, strengthening financial markets, supporting SME development, and promoting privatizations and public-private partnerships. From its inception through FY06, PEP-MENA has committed more than $20 million in technical assistance and advisory services projects. Its activities are funded jointly by IFC and the following donors: Canada, France, the Islamic Development Bank, Japan, Kuwait, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States.