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Visit to Mali by IFC Vice President Assaad Jabre February 16-18, 2004


In Washington:
Ahmed Badawi-Malik

Phone: +1 (202) 458-7148

Fax:      +1 (202) 974-4384

Email:
Abadawi@ifc.org


BAMAKO, MALI, February 13, 2004— Mr. Assaad Jabre, Vice President, Operations of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, will visit Mali from February 16-18, 2004. Mr. Jabre’s visit will focus on assessing opportunities for IFC investments and advisory services, together with consulting with government ministers, local private sector representatives, industry leaders as well as IFC clients.

The visit underlines the importance and continuing commitment that IFC attaches to its partnership with Mali. Mr. Jabre will be accompanied by Mr. Thierry Tanoh, IFC associate director for Africa. Mr. Jabre’s program will include meetings with the president and prime minister of Mali, and calls on the ministers of economy & finance, private sector development, mining, transport, energy & water minerals and communications.


Meetings with the government of Mali will give Mr. Jabre an opportunity to introduce IFC’s new Africa strategy, discuss economic and social developmental priorities for Mali, and explore with the government how IFC can help further improve the business environment for increased private sector development and, in turn, hasten private sector job and wealth creation to reduce poverty and boost opportunities for the economic advancement of Malians.


Mr. Jabre will also meet representatives from the Private Sector Association (PSEP), the chamber of commerce & industry, the banking association, and visit IFC clients, Anglo Gold, Graphique Industrie, and Société Malienne de Promotion Hôtelière - a local trading company, specializing in tourism, that IFC signed a E1.5 million investment commitment in 2003 to finance the renovation of the Grand Hotel, Bamako.


IFC supports sustainable private sector development in Mali through both actual investments and performing private sector and investment advisory work. Since its first investment in 1956, IFC has committed financing to projects in Mali amounting to $45 million as of FY 2003 - including $20 million from its own account and $25 million for the account of banks participating in syndicated loans.


IFC’s strategic priorities for Mali include helping the private sector grow by investing in key export sectors such as mining and tourism; providing advisory services to the government’s privatization program in key infrastructure sectors; and improving the business and financial operating environment for micro, small and medium-size enterprises (MSMEs) by, for example, investing in transportation and warehousing sectors.


The mission of IFC (
www.ifc.org) is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY03, IFC has committed more than $37 billion of its own funds and arranged $22 billion in syndications for 2,990 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY03 was $16.8 billion for its own account and $6.6 billion held for participants in loan syndications.



Note to Editors:
A press conference will be held at the Center for the Private Sector for Mr. Jabre in Bamako on Wednesday, February 18 at 12 noon. For details please contact Ms. Judith Press, World Bank Resident Representative in Mali:


Judith Press

World Bank

Immeuble SOGEFIH

Centre Commercial Rue 32

Quartier du Fleuve

Bamako, Mali

Tel: (223) 222 22 83

Fax: (223) 222 66 82

Email:
Jpress@worldbank.org


Enc:
Biography of Assaad Jabre





ASSAAD JABRE

Vice President, Operations, IFC




Assad Jabre, a Lebanese national, is Vice President, Operations of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector affiliate of the World Bank Group. He is responsible for new investments worldwide. He also oversees, on behalf of IFC, the private sector advisory services of the World Bank Group.


Mr. Jabre joined the World Bank Group in 1980 through the Young Professionals Program. Upon completion of the program, he joined IFC as an investment officer, where he worked on projects in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.


From 1989 to 1992, Mr. Jabre served as special assistant to IFC’s executive vice president. He was then appointed manager, telecommunications, in the infrastructure department, where he served until he got appointed as director of the infrastructure department in 1996.


In 1997, Mr. Jabre became vice president, portfolio management and advisory operations, where he took responsibility for managing IFC’s loan and equity portfolio. He got appointed to his current position in 2000.


Mr. Jabre graduated from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris with a degree in economics and finance, and he also received a degree in international law from the University of Paris. He Worked for Paribas in Paris for four years before entering the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, where he received an MBA in 1980.