WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 13, 2000 ---
In an initiative designed to bring new efficiency to the pulp and paper
industry in developing countries, the International Finance Corporation
is making an equity investment of US$1 million in AsiaPaperMarkets.com,
an Internet-based marketplace, covering Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand,
and the Middle East.
AsiaPaperMarkets.com was created to make the paper industry more profitable
through a neutral web-based tool that provides an independent marketplace
for industry buyers and sellers; an alternate low cost channel for disposing
of dormant or excess inventory for sellers; a simple process for obtaining
the lowest price for buyers; an effective sales and purchase management
system incorporating all relevant accounting, financing, logistics, and
insurance services; a cost efficient process for managing supplies; and
tools for asset recovery, contract management, and recruitment.
The Asian paper market shows strong growth but is plagued by low profitability,
inventory buildup, and inefficient sales process. AsiaPaperMarkets.com
aims to remove inefficient distribution networks, using the Internet's
connectivity to eliminate geographical barriers, which will reduce costs
in time and money. Transactions will be streamlined, information exchange
will be easier and inventory and sales costs will be reduced. For the first
time, the paper industry in emerging economies will be able to efficiently
reach suppliers and customers, automate transaction processes and procurement,
and have access to a relatively inexpensive and efficient maintenance system.
Mr. Javed Hamid, IFC Director for East Asia and Pacific, said the project
gives IFC an opportunity to use its extensive experience in the pulp and
paper industry to help harness technology on behalf of developing countries.
It will improve supply chains, encourage and facilitate participation in
the global market place, and make the industry more efficient, significantly
The mission of IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is to promote private
sector investment in developing countries, which will reduce poverty and
improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the
developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets,
and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.