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CEO Lars Thunell Highlights IFC Commitment to Private Sector Development and Crisis Recovery in Georgia


In Tbilisi:
Tamar Barbakadze

Tel: +995 32 23 00 00/01/02

E-mail:
TBarbakadze@ifc.org

In Washington, D.C.:
Elizabeth Price

Tel: +1 202 458 0387

E-mail: EPrice@ifc.org


Tbilisi, Georgia, August 25, 2010—Lars Thunell, Executive Vice President and CEO of IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, said today that IFC is committed to sustainable private sector development in Georgia and highlighted the strong support provided to the country’s banks and businesses during the recent financial crisis and on-going recovery.

Following a meeting in Tbilisi with Prime Minister Nika Gilauri, Thunell noted that the strong partnership with the government, private sector businesses, and other international finance institutions has helped IFC achieve significant development impact in Georgia. During their meeting, Thunell and Prime Minister Gilauri also discussed increasing the private sector’s role in Georgia’s rapidly developing roads system.


“IFC provided critical support to the banking sector in Georgia at the time of the financial crisis, ensuring that businesses and individuals still had vital access to finance,” Thunell said. "We continue to look for opportunities to support private sector development, in particular helping to increase Georgia’s competitiveness in the global economy and improve its infrastructure.  We value the partnership of the government in working toward these goals.”


Thunell, who is meeting with clients and other finance institutions during his visit, said IFC will continue to seek opportunities to invest in Georgia, particularly in sectors such as agribusiness, renewable energy, and transportation and energy infrastructure. Following his two-day trip to Tbilisi, Thunell will continue on to Armenia.


IFC’s cumulative investments in Georgia since 1995 total nearly $500 million in 35 projects across a variety of sectors. Through its Advisory Services, IFC is working towards reform of Georgia’s tax system to benefit small businesses while helping companies improve corporate governance practices and raise food safety standards. Georgia has been a member of IFC since 1995.


In fiscal year 2010, IFC committed a record $3 billion to 105 projects throughout Europe and Central Asia, the region hardest hit by the global economic crisis.


About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.