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IFC Committed To Improving Business Climate, Supporting Smaller Businesses in Mali


In Bamako:
Moussa Diarra, World Bank
Telephone: +223 222 2283
Email:
mdiarra@worldbank.org

In Johannesburg:
Houtan Bassiri, IFC
Telephone: +27 11 731 3179
Email:
hbassiri@ifc.org


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 with Mali.

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 Industrie.


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.


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 $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.