Kyiv, Ukraine, August 27, 2008—Lars
Thunell, Executive Vice President and CEO of IFC, a member of the World
Bank Group, today said that IFC will continue supporting the growth of
Ukraine’s private sector through investments and advisory programs focusing
on agribusiness, infrastructure, cleaner production, and access to finance.
Speaking at the end of an official visit to the country, Thunell also emphasized
IFC’s aim to help maximize Ukraine’s agribusiness potential throughout
the value chain.
Thunell met with Ms. Valentyna Zavalevska,
Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy, to discuss opportunities for expanding
cooperation between IFC and Ukraine. He stressed that IFC is ready to help
private agribusiness companies meet the growing demand for food and mitigate
escalating food prices. "Rising food prices are a catastrophe for
the world's poor," Thunell said. "Part of IFC's response is to
help increase production in countries such as Ukraine that have strong
Thunell met with IFC investment clients,
including the management of Khlibprom, a baking company, and Rise, an agribusiness
servicing company. Three years of cooperation with IFC helped Rise expand
its products and services, increase outreach to clients, improve transparency
and governance, and triple its sales volume. Thunell also met with clients
of the IFC Vinnitsa Fruit Supply Chain Development Project, which is being
implemented in partnership with Austria’s Ministry of Finance.
Thunell signed a loan agreement with
Swedbank, a leading commercial bank in Ukraine. IFC is providing a $70
million loan for its own account to Swedbank and Swedbank Invest. IFC will
also play a critical role in mobilizing parallel and syndicated loans of
approximately $69 million in order to complete the financing package. Swedbank,
a former IFC advisory client, will use the financing to expand access
to finance for small businesses and potential home owners who cannot access
financing outside Kyiv under current market conditions.
Since Ukraine became a member of IFC
in 1993, IFC has committed about $1 billion in 42 projects in the country,
covering such sectors as agribusiness, construction materials, energy,
financial markets, retail, and services. IFC is also implementing seven
advisory services projects in agribusiness, energy efficiency, housing
finance, leasing, and regulatory simplification.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth
in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing
private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing
advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC’s
vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and
improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized
an additional $3.9 billion through syndications and structured finance
for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory
services in 97 countries. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.