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IFC Promotes Coordinated Support to Liberia’s Private Sector for Rapid Development


In Dakar:
Kimberlee A. Brown
Phone: +221 33 859 7126
E-mail: kbrown@ifc.org

In Monrovia:
Baindu Ken
Phone: +231 06 540 361
E-mail: bken@ifc.org

Monrovia, Liberia, November 23, 2009— IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today affirmed its commitment to expanding activities in Liberia to contribute to the country’s development through the private sector.

IFC Vice President for Sub-Saharan Africa, Thierry Tanoh, discussed IFC’s continued support and its own efforts to raise additional capital that would allow it to do even more in Liberia during meetings with H.E. President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and other government officials, the diplomatic community and private sector businesspeople.

IFC is working to maintain a unified approach in the development of Liberia’s private sector. In partnership with the World Bank and the African Development Bank, IFC is supporting a Joint Assistance Strategy to ensure that efforts of World Bank Group and other partners are well coordinated and relevant based on development needs and government priorities. At the same time, IFC is working closely with members of the private sector to promote public-private dialogue on reform that encourages more investment in the country.

“Increased cooperation among private sector, government and financial institutions is helping Liberia effectively promote itself as a preferred investment destination,” said Tanoh during a two-day visit to the country. “The reforms Liberia has made over the past year alone in improving the investment climate speak for themselves as to the importance of public-private cooperation in conflict-affected countries.”

Liberia was one of the four newcomers among the global top ten reformers in this year’s joint IFC-World Bank Doing Business 2010 report which ranks 183 economies around the world based on the ease of doing business. It jumped up 10 places to 149.
       
IFC is the only international financial institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable development in emerging markets. It is currently seeking a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity for the poor in developing countries, including for those in conflicted-affected countries, such as Liberia.

Years of conflict have destroyed Liberia’s infrastructure and exacerbated poverty. IFC Advisory Services in Africa is working in Liberia to improve the investment climate, support small businesses and in the development of an important tree crop sector. IFC’s Conflict Affected States in Africa initiative, a five-year program launched in 2008, is also helping design and implement integrated strategies specially targeted to support economic recovery in conflict-affected countries.

At the end of Fiscal Year ending June 2009, IFC made new commitments worth approximately $13 million in the country. This includes a $10 million investment to Salala Rubber, a $1.1 million investment to AccessBank Liberia and a $2 million Trade Finance line to Liberian Bank for Development and Investment.

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.