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IFC's Private Enterprise Partnership Signs its First Agreement with Iceland


In Washington:
Irina Likhachova

Phone: (202) 473-1813

Email:
ilikhachova@ifc.org


Moscow, November 15, 2004—Today Iceland and IFC’s Private Enterprise Partnership, IFC’s private sector advisory program in the former Soviet Union and Mongolia, signed their first agreement for a joint project.  Under the agreement Iceland will provide donor funding to IFC’s Private Enterprise Partnership to carry out a Survey of the Fish Industry in Russia.

The economic potential of Russia’s fish industry is large.  However, relatively little is understood about the complete extent of the fish industry in Russia and its current and future dynamics.  IFC hopes that the survey will provide a comprehensive overview of the industry and will help identify potential business and investment opportunities.


H.E. Mr. Benedikt Jonsson, the Ambassador of Iceland to the Russian Federation, commented: “Iceland has had a longstanding cooperation with Russia, and formerly the Soviet Union, in fisheries and the fish industry. The recent major changes in Russia’s economy have attracted much interest among Icelandic business operators in these fields in particular who have long sensed the great potential therein. However, the complex nature and little knowledge of the current and future potential of the Russian fish industry remains somewhat a stumbling block for an increased active participation of Icelandic business operators in this field. Therefore, it is most welcome and encouraging that the agreement between the Government of Iceland and the International Finance Corporation is now realized to undertake a Survey of the Fishing Industry in Russia.”


Edward Nassim, Director for Central and Eastern Europe Division, International Finance Corporation, said: “This is the first agreement between Iceland and IFC’s Private Enterprise Partnership. Under this agreement Iceland and IFC will work together to conduct a Survey of the Fish Industry in Russia. Iceland is a world leader in the fish industry and Russia presents great potential in this business sector. We hope that this Survey will provide informed answers to many questions, and become a platform from which new business opportunities can be explored.”


IFC has been working in Russia for over ten years and has built a strong reputation as a leading investment institution. While investing is central to IFC’s activities in Russia, private sector advisory work has plays a key role in IFC’s work in the country.  This advisory work is possible only with the participation and partnership of the donor countries.  “At IFC we value these partnerships, and we are committed to creating optimal synergies and maximum value from our joint efforts.  We are consequently very pleased to welcome Iceland as a new partner in Russia,” added Edward Nassim.  


Iceland joins donor agencies from 11 other countries that fund IFC’s Private Enterprise Partnership programs.  Currently the Partnership is implementing over 30 projects in 11 countries with donor funding from Austria, Canada, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.


IFC established the Partnership in 2000 as a continuation of the technical assistance programs IFC has been carrying out in the former Soviet Union since 1992. Together with its donor partners, the Partnership helps private companies and governments attract private direct investment, stimulate the growth of small and medium enterprises, and improve the business-enabling environment. To achieve these objectives, the Partnership works to integrate small and medium companies into the supply chains of large companies, develops financial markets with a strong emphasis on leasing, improves corporate governance practices and regulations, and improves business support services and regulatory environment for small and medium businesses.