Tbilisi, Georgia, January 29, 2010—A
new report from IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, reveals that
more than 90 percent of Georgian food producers, importers, and exporters
need help adopting international food safety standards to bring them into
compliance with Georgia’s new law and improve their international competitiveness.
The majority of respondents to a survey
conducted by the IFC Georgia Investment Climate Project believe that Georgia’s
new regulations on food safety and quality will have a positive impact
on their businesses. However, more than 70 percent lack basic knowledge
of relevant law and international food safety standards. This suggests
a strong need for training and consulting aimed at helping companies meet
the requirements of the new law and adopt international standards.
IFC’s study of the Georgian food sector
was designed to help the government implement reforms that will bring national
regulation in line with international best practice. It forms part of IFC’s
regional strategy in agribusiness, a sector with high potential for impact
Tamar Kovziridze, Chief Advisor to the
Prime Minister of Georgia, said, “The IFC report helps us ensure smooth
enactment of the control provisions of the new law. It pinpoints the specific
areas in which the government and the donors could assist the food producers
in Georgia implement appropriate food safety mechanisms.”
Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Head, Caucasus,
said, “Agriculture and food processing are important contributors to Georgia’s
gross domestic product and employment. IFC would like to help Georgia realize
its full potential in this sector through advice and targeted investments.”
IFC has been engaged in training food
companies on food safety and quality management issues for 18 months. This
initiative is a part of IFC’s regional strategy to support the government
in its effort to improve regulatory environment for small businesses. The
IFC Georgia Investment Climate Project is run in partnership with BP and
the co-venturers in its oil and gas projects, as well as the Canadian International
IFC is the only international financial
institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable
development in emerging markets. Along with IBRD, it is currently
seeking a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity
for the poor in developing countries—including by helping implement reforms
such as those benefiting businesses in Georgia.
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 private capital, 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.
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please visit: www.acdi-cida.gc.ca.