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.
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,
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,