WASHINGTON, D.C., June 1, 1998 --- Ms.
Carol Lee, Vice President & General Counsel of the International Finance
Corporation will visit Bosnia-Herzegovina and FYR Macedonia from June 2
to June 11. During her stay she will meet with national and local government
officials and business leaders to discuss private sector development and
priorities for the two countries, and sign new investment agreements in
During her six-day visit to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ms. Lee will meet Federation
Prime Minister Mr. Edhem Bicakcic, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of
Finance Mr. Drago Bilandzija, Governor of the Central Bank of Bosnia-Herzegovina
Mr. Peter Nicholl, and Deputy Prime Minister of the Republika Srpska Mr.
IFC is seeking to play an important role in Bosnia-Herzegovina as one
of the very few sources of long-term finance. IFC priorities for the country
include the development of the small and medium-sized enterprise sector,
the financial sector and the reconstruction and privatization of the wood
processing sector. In addition, IFC has developed a total of nine technical
assistance projects financed from Japanese, Italian, Israeli and Norwegian
Trust Funds to help enterprises build and expand their businesses, develop
management capacity, improve financial auditing and legal practices, and
develop a new financial institution, the MicroEnterprise Bank.
In the course of the visit, IFC will sign the Wood Agency Agreement on
June 3, 1998 to establish a pilot agency credit line totaling DM 25 million
(US$14 million equivalent) to benefit an estimated 8-12 medium-sized wood
processing and furniture manufacturing enterprises.
Ms. Lee will travel to Macedonia on June 7. While in Macedonia, Ms. Lee
will meet with the Minister of Economy Mr. Boris Rikalovski, Minister of
Finance Mr. Taki Fiti, and Prime Minister Mr. Branko Crvenkovski to discuss
IFC’s efforts to assist the development of Macedonia’s private sector.
IFC began investing in the Macedonian private sector in FY97, and has approved
six projects in the country to date, totaling US$53.5 million in financing
for its own account. In addition, Macedonia is among the countries in the
"Extending IFC’s Reach" initiative, a special program through
which IFC helps bring private investment to regions and countries where
the Corporation’s activities have been constrained by challenging conditions.
IFC, part of the World Bank Group, fosters economic growth in the developing
world by financing private sector investments, mobilizing capital in the
international financial markets and providing technical assistance and
advice to governments and businesses.