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World Bank Group and EBRD Launch Business Environment Survey in Georgia


Contacts:        
Inga Paichadze

Phone: + 995 32 91 30 96

E-mail:
ipaichadze@worldbank.org

Tamar Barbakadze
Phone: + 995 (32) 92 35 23/24/27

E-mail:
tbarbakadze@ifc.org


Tbilisi, Georgia, May 14, 2008—The World Bank Group has announced the launch of the fourth round of the Business Environment and Enterprise Performance Survey, a joint initiative of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank in Georgia. For the first time IFC has joined the initiative, and the survey will now cover issues specific to IFC’s advisory activities. The regional data from the survey will complement IFC’s efforts to monitor the changes in the business enabling environment and assess the impact of regulations.

The objective of the survey is to obtain feedback from enterprises in client countries on the state of the private sector. Through interviews with 360 firms in the manufacturing and services sectors, the survey will assess the constraints to private sector growth and create statistically significant business environment indicators that are comparable across countries.

The World Bank is implementing the business environment survey around the globe, using a standardized questionnaire adapted to each country. Topics include the adoption of technology and innovation, competition, the qualifications of the workforce, informality, access to financial services, infrastructure, and impact of government regulations.

The survey will continue gathering data to provide year-to-year, cross-country business environment measures. It will also revisit previously interviewed businesses to compile comprehensive panel data that will allow researchers to track changes in the business environment, measure the effect of these changes on establishment performance over time, and assess the effects of reforms.

The research team began interviews in April, and the preliminary results are expected in September 2008. The results, together with additional information from other investigations, will form the basisof policy recommendations to the government for promoting investment, productivity, and economic growth.

About EBRD
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) established in 1991 is the largest single investor in central and eastern Europe and the CIS. It provides project financing for banks, industries, small & medium size businesses, both new ventures and investments in existing companies. It also works with publicly owned companies, to support privatisation, restructuring state-owned firms and improvement of municipal services. The Bank uses its close relationship with governments in the region to promote policies that will bolster the business environment.

EBRD in Georgia
The EBRD’s Resident Office in Tbilisi was opened in November 1997. In October 2006 the EBRD has established a regional centre for the Caucasus in Tbilisi, with the aim to strengthen its activities and build on its successful portfolio in the countries of the region.

EBRD, as one of the largest investors in Georgia’s private sector. During 2007, the EBRD signed a total of 27 projects covering energy, transport, agribusiness, general industry and banking for a total commitment of €192 million.

For more information, visit www.ebrd.com.

The World Bank in Georgia

Georgia joined the World Bank in 1992 and the International Development Association in 1993. Since then, the Bank has provided financing for 43 IDA projects totaling $904 million. Currently, there are 17 IDA credits under implementation, totaling $275 million. The World Bank Group Country Partnership Strategy for FY06-09 is designed to assist Georgia in implementing a second phase of reforms. Its goals include generating growth, creating jobs, enhancing human development and social protection, and strengthening public sector management and budgetary processes. For more information, visit
www.worldbank.org.ge.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through syndications and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.

Georgia became a shareholder and a member of IFC in 1995. As of September 30, 2007, IFC has committed nearly $258 million in 23 projects in the country’s financial, power, oil and gas, and manufacturing sectors. In addition to investments, IFC conducts advisory programs in Georgia to promote corporate governance and improve the business enabling environment, with support from BP and its oil and gas partners and the Canadian International Development Agency. For more information, visit www.ifc.org/georgia/bee.

Loretta Martikian
Phone: +995 32 44 74 11
E-mail: martikianl@ebrd.com