Bamako, Mali, February 11, 2008—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is looking to increase its development
impact in Mali by supporting an improved investment climate, working with
financial institutions to increase financing for smaller businesses, and
supporting key economic sectors such as infrastructure, agribusiness, and
tourism, IFC Executive Vice President and CEO Lars Thunell said today.
Thunell was in Bamako on a one-day visit
to explore areas where IFC can help further strengthen the country’s economic
growth and private sector development. Coming shortly after of a December
visit to the country by IFC Vice President for Africa Thierry Tanoh, Thunell’s
trip highlighting IFC’s commitment to its well-established partnership
Thunell met with government officials,
including President Amadou Toumani Touré, Pime Minister Modibo Sidibé,
and Minister of Finance Abou-Bakar Traore. He also met development partners,
local private sector representatives, and IFC clients.
“IFC is working with companies and
institutions across a variety of sectors in Mali to promote better practices
and a more vibrant private sector,” Mr. Thunell said. “We will continue
to build our business with a diverse range of financial products and advisory
services to meet client needs and ensure a stronger development impact.”
Since it began working in Mali IFC has
mobilized about $134 million in investments.
IFC’s investment portfolio in the country stands at nearly $7 million,
including gold mining company SEMOS, and loans to Hotel Salam, and Graphique
IFC today signed an €8 million loan
to Groupe Achcar Mali Industries to help finance an expansion and product
diversification program at the agribusiness company.
Mali ranked 166 out of 181 countries in the IFC-World Bank Doing Business
2009 report which ranks countries based on the ease of doing business in
the country. The country could benefit greatly from an improved business
climate to attract more private sector investment.
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 $16.2
billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For
more information, visit www.ifc.org.