WASHINGTON, D.C., December 16, 1999 —
The International Finance Corporation today approved its first project
in Syria in an irrigation technology company which designs and manufactures
systems that address the critical problem of water scarcity in the Middle
IFC will make a US$1 million equity investment in Arab Drip Irrigation
Technology Company Ltd. (Adritec Syria), an affiliate of Adritec Group
International (AGI), a regional holding company with affiliates in several
Arab countries that specializes in the production and supply of irrigation
equipment and systems.
The project marks the beginning of IFC's investment operations in Syria,
and is the first World Bank Group project there in 13 years. The Syrian
government agreed in 1997 to repay its arrears to the World Bank, opening
the way for World Bank Group activities to resume. Mohsen Khalil, Director
of IFC's Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa Department said that
today's approval paves the way for a broader IFC program to promote the
role of the private sector in Syria by demonstrating the benefits of a
conducive environment for private investments. He added that the Adritec
project addresses a critical strategic issue for the region — the conservation
of water resources — by furthering the use of advanced irrigation technology.
The investment in Adritec will finance new production facilities at the
company's site in Latakia, expanding and upgrading water-conserving irrigation
products and systems, and extending the reach of the company into agricultural
markets across the region.
Adritec is a joint venture between AGI and Mr. Assem Suleiman, Managing
Director of Suleiman Agricultural Establishments.
The mission of IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is to promote private
sector investment in developing countries, which will reduce poverty and
improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the
developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets,
and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.