SOFIA, BULGARIA, January 22, 1998 --- The
Bulgarian Government has purchased additional shares in the International
Finance Corporation, raising Bulgarian paid-in capital from US$1 million
to $3 million.
The purchase of 3,078 shares was a signal of support for IFC and its mandate
to build the private sector in the developing world and transition countries,
as well as a reflection of the Bulgarian government's determination to
move forward with reform and development of its private sector.
Minister of Finance Muravei Radev signed on behalf of the Government with
representatives of the World Bank Group in attendance. Minister Radev
reiterated that the Government of Bulgaria attaches high priority to the
private sector providing development leadership to help achieve high and
sustainable growth of the Bulgarian economy. In subscribing to the
IFC general capital increase, the Government wishes to encourage the local
and the international business communities to take advantage of IFC's willingness
to support viable investment opportunities in Bulgaria.
Mr. Pieter Stek, World Bank Executive Director for Bulgaria said that Bulgaria's
participation in IFC's capital increase is indeed an important step towards
its integration into the international community, showing the commitment
of the Government to follow its well defined path towards developing a
market economy. Mr. Harold Rosen, Director of the Central and Southern
Europe Department added that the participation sends a clear signal to
the private sector, potential foreign investors, and the international
banking community that Bulgaria continues to create a welcoming environment
for much needed private investment in every aspect of the economy.
IFC, part of the World Bank Group, fosters economic growth in the developing
world by financing private sector investments, mobilizing capital in the
international financial markets and providing technical assistance and
advice to governments and businesses.
To date, IFC has signed commitments to invest US$82 million in five projects
in Bulgaria with a total cost of US$379 million. IFC expects to develop
a strong program in Bulgaria in the coming years and already has several
projects under consideration. In the area of advisory services, the
Foreign Investment Advisory Service (FIAS) operated jointly by IFC and
the IBRD is planning to undertake a study of administrative barriers to
investment in Bulgaria.