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IFC Helps Serbian Municipality Improve Business Environment


In Washington, DC:
Thoko Moyo

Phone: +1 (202) 458-8517

E-mail:
tmoyo@ifc.org

In Belgrade
:

Margo Thomas

Phone: +381 11 3023 750

E-mail:
mthomas@ifc.org

Slobodan Brkic

Phone: +381 11 3023 750
E-mail:
sbrkic@ifc.org


Uzice, Serbia, July 24, 2007 — IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, signed an agreement with the municipality of Uzice in Serbia, marking a joint commitment to improve the local business-enabling environment. Uzice, located in the southwest, is one the country’s largest municipalities, with some 85,000 inhabitants.

“Our activities with IFC complement our development plan. We hope to reduce the administrative burden for doing business and attract new companies to our municipality,” said Tihomir Petkovic, Mayor of Uzice.

Improving the business environment by simplifying administrative procedures and providing better services will help reduce the cost and risk of doing business, improving the competitiveness of local municipalities and attracting more foreign direct investment.

“By helping municipalities simplify their procedures, we hope to develop a more favorable business environment and stimulate the development of the country’s private sector,” said Philip Condon, Head of IFC Advisory Services in Southern Europe.

According to Margo Thomas, IFC Business Enabling Environment Manager and Regional Program Coordinator, the sub-national competitiveness project is designed to streamline business formalities and inspections procedures. This will help increase the transparency and quality of business regulations and reduce costs—important factors in improving competitiveness.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing capital in the international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that poor people have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY06, IFC committed $8.3 billion, including syndications, to 284 investments in 66 developing countries. For more information, please visit
www.ifc.org.
 
IFC provides advisory services to support private sector development and attract new investments in Serbia. The programs concentrate on four business lines: value addition to firms, access to finance, infrastructure advisory services, and business-enabling environment. To learn more about IFC advisory programs in Southern Europe, please visit
www.ifc.org/pepse.