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IFC CHIEF VISITS LEBANON, JORDAN, AND THE WEST BANK AND GAZA OCTOBER 17 to 26, 1997 -Support for Private Sector Activity-


L. Joseph
Phone: (202) 473-7700
Fax: (202) 676-0365
E-mail: ljoseph@ifc.org


WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 14—Mr. Jannik Lindbaek, Executive Vice President of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) will lead a delegation to Lebanon, Jordan, and the West Bank and Gaza from October 17 to 26, 1997.
The purpose of the visit is to consult with government and industry leaders on IFC's activities, tour IFC projects, and discuss new initiatives.
In Beirut, Mr. Lindbaek will address the Arab Businessmen's Forum, an important annual gathering of high-level government and private sector representatives from all Middle Eastern countries.
IFC has expanded its activities in the region in recent years in response to a more favorable environment for private sector development.

In Lebanon, since 1993, IFC has invested US$437 million in 17 projects, of which US$231 million was for its own account. In Jordan, since 1994, IFC has invested US$110.4 million in 8 projects, of which US$90.4 was for its own account. In the West Bank and Gaza, since 1994, IFC has invested US$98.7 million in 8 projects, of which US$87.2 million was for its own account.
The Corporation is working in a wide variety of sectors in the region, including capital markets, tourism, infrastructure, agribusiness, and health care. IFC is also providing technical assistance to improve the legal and regulatory framework in order to create an environment that is conducive to private sector development.

Mr. Lindbaek said, "I am delighted to be visiting Lebanon, Jordan, and the West Bank and Gaza. Our involvement in the region has grown steadily, fueled by the opportunities that emerge as countries take bold steps towards macroeconomic stability. Although I see strong trends towards private sector development, I believe that the region must continue on the path of economic reform to participate more competitively and to be better integrated into the globalization of the world economy."

Mr. Lindbaek will be accompanied by Mr. Iyad Malas, Manager in IFC's Central Asia, Middle East, and North Africa Department; Ms. Maria Thomas, Special Assistant to the Executive Vice President; Mr. Mohsen Khalil, Principal Investment Officer, and Ms. Ludwina Joseph, Corporate Communications Officer.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest multilateral source of equity and loan financing for private sector projects in developing countries.

NOTE TO EDITORS
:
Mr. Lindbaek will be addressing three press conferences: Beirut, Oct. 20; Amman, Oct. 22; and Gaza Oct. 25.
For more information, contact Ms. Joseph:

       
Beirut: Oct. 17-20, Ph: (9611) 317200, Fax: (9611) 319500
       
Amman: Oct. 21-23, Ph: (9626) 641361, Fax: (9626) 645217
       
Jerusalem: Oct. 24-28, Ph: (9722) 6279777, Fax: (9722) 6279779