Skopje, FYR Macedonia, May 31, 2007
— IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, assisted Fakom,
a construction company based in Skopje, with implementation of the CE marking,
an indicator that its products meet all the requirements of applicable
European directives. This will help the company grow and improve its competitiveness
in the international market. Fakom designs, manufactures, and builds bridges
and steel structures for public, industrial, and sports facilities.
Companies in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro,
and Serbia face great challenges in meeting international standards and
increasing exports. To address this, IFC is implementing the International
Standards and Technical Regulations Program in the region, which is supported
by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Slovenian Ministry
“We have been working with IFC to adopt 21 European standards and earn
the CE marking for several months. IFC helped us improve our processes
and procedures and provided training to our staff. This will usher a new
era for Fakom, as we plan to conduct more business in Europe,” said Vladimir
Mihajlov, General Manager of Fakom.
“The CE marking is becoming increasingly important as countries in Southern
Europe look to possible membership in the European Union and local companies
shift their focus to the European market. By helping companies introduce
the CE marking, we hope to increase their exports and competitiveness in
the European market,” said Philip Condon, head of IFC Advisory Services
in Southern Europe.
Many companies in Southern Europe view the international standards as non-tariff
barriers. The CE marking was introduced to make trade easier and cheaper.
It signifies that a manufacturer declares that its products conform to
the minimum legal requirements for health and safety as specified in European
Union directives. It also allows companies to market their products freely
within the European Economic Area. Often, customers will look for the CE
marking to ensure acceptable levels of consumer safety and protection while
using or handling the product.
“The International Standards and Technical Regulations Program builds
awareness among companies and provides a range of training and consulting
services. Fakom’s certification marks the successful end of our first
project in FYR Macedonia,” said Ivana Curic, IFC Manager of the International
Standards and Technical Regulations Program in Southern Europe.
IFC’s International Standards and Technical Regulations Program is helping
companies in Southern Europe introduce a wide range of standards.
IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, promotes open and
competitive markets in developing countries. IFC supports sustainable private
sector companies and other partners in generating productive jobs and delivering
basic services, so that people have opportunities to escape poverty and
improve their lives. Through FY06, IFC Financial Products have committed
more than $56 billion in funding for private sector investments and mobilized
an additional $25 billion in syndications for 3,531 companies in 140 developing
countries. IFC Advisory Services and donor partners have provided more
than $1 billion in program support to build small enterprises, to accelerate
private participation in infrastructure, to improve the business enabling
environment, to increase access to finance, and to strengthen environmental
and social sustainability. For more information, please visit www.ifc.org.
IFC Advisory Services in Southern Europe
IFC provides advisory services to support private sector development in
Southern Europe and Central Asia. We operate programs in Albania, Bosnia
and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the FYR Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro,
Romania, and Serbia. The programs concentrate on four business lines: value
addition to firms (corporate governance, recycling linkages, international
standards, and technical regulations); business enabling environment (alternative
dispute resolution, municipal simplification, and competitiveness); access
to finance (housing finance, sustainable finance, bank capacity building,
and microfinance); and infrastructure advisory services. IFC’s advisory
services programs in Southern Europe are jointly financed with Austria,
Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Switzerland, and the
To learn more about the International Standards and Technical Regulations
Program, please visit www.ifc.org/pepse
or contact Ivana Curic.