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
“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.
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.