Press Releases

IFC Helps Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Banja Luka Improve Its Business Environment

In Washington, DC:
Christine Bowers
Phone: +1 (202) 458 8472

In Belgrade:
Margo Thomas

Phone: +381 11 3023 750

Slobodan Brkic
Phone: +381 11 3023 750

Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, October 9, 2007 — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement with the city of Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina, marking a joint commitment to improve the business enabling environment. With almost 200,000 inhabitants, Banja Luka is the economic center of Republika Srpska.

Improving the business environment by simplifying administrative procedures and providing better services will help reduce the cost and risk of doing business. This will foster competitiveness in cities and municipalities and attract more foreign direct investment.

“We hope to reduce the administrative burden for doing business and attract new companies to Banja Luka, and IFC’s assistance in this effort is critical,” said Dragoljub Davidovic, Mayor of Banja Luka.

“We are pleased to work with Mayor Davidovic and his team. Making administrative procedures simpler for businesses at the local level should help attract new investors to Bosnia and Herzegovina and support private sector development,” said Philip Condon, Head of IFC Advisory Services in Southern Europe.

According to Margo Thomas, IFC Business Enabling Environment Manager and Regional Program Coordinator, IFC’s assistance will help reduce the cost and risk of doing business by streamlining and improving the consistency and transparency of regulations that affect the start up and operation of businesses in Banja Luka. “This project will build on the city’s e-government infrastructure to help institutionalize these reforms,” she said.

Banja Luka is the third locality in Bosnia and Herzegovina to be included in IFC’s subnational competitiveness project in the country.

About IFC
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 poor people 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 loan participations and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information, visit

IFC provides advisory services to support private sector development and attract new investments in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The programs concentrate on four business lines: value addition to firms, access to finance, infrastructure advisory services, and the business enabling environment. To learn more about IFC advisory programs in southern Europe, visit