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IFC Identifies Areas for Improvement to Advance Food Safety in Georgia


In Tbilisi:
Tamar Barbakadze
Phone: +995 32 23 43 00
E-mail: TBarbakadze@ifc.org

In Moscow:
Nezhdana Bukova, IFC
Phone: +7 495 411 7555
E-mail:
NBukova@ifc.org

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 on development.

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 Development Agency.

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.

About IFC
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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