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IFC Vice President Koskelo Highlights IFC’s Priorities for Georgia and Armenia


In Tbilisi:
Tamar Barbakadze
Phone: +995 32 23 4306/07/10
E-mail: TBarbakadze@ifc.org

In Moscow:
Ilya Sverdlov
Phone: (+7 495) 411 7555
E-mail: ISverdlov@ifc.org

Tbilisi, Georgia, July 29, 2009—Jyrki Koskelo, Vice President of IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today pledged that IFC will continue supporting the growth of the private sector in Georgia and Armenia  by expanding its presence  in the countries.

IFC views the region as a long-term strategic priority and is planning to expand its activities by building on established partnerships with the private sector and government. IFC also plans to continue providing expert advice to mitigate the effects of the financial crisis, improve the investment climate, and foster corporate governance best practices.

Speaking at the official opening ceremony of the new IFC hub office in Tbilisi covering Georgia and Armenia, Koskelo emphasized IFC’s long-term commitment to these countries. “Despite the global financial crisis, IFC has decided to expand its presence in the region because we are facing increasing demand for our products and services,” he said. “The new office in Tbilisi will help us be closer to our Georgian and Armenian clients, maximize our resources, and strengthen our collaboration with partners across the region.”

The past financial year was a record year for Georgia and Armenia with IFC investing $229 million as part of its global strategy to respond to the financial crisis and the needs of the clients with appropriate products.

Georgia and Armenia became shareholders and members of IFC in 1995. As of June 2009, IFC has committed around $500 million in these countries across a variety of sectors. IFC continues to look for opportunities to build on the success of its advisory services programs and investments, and to increase the availability of debt funding and equity investment to local enterprises.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $15 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.