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IFC Helps Serbian Municipality Attract Investment


In Washington, D.C.:
Thoko Moyo
Phone: +1 (202) 458-8517
E-mail: tmoyo@ifc.org

In Belgrade:
Margo Thomas
Phone: +381 11 3023 750
E-mail: mthomas@ifc.org

In Belgrade:
Slobodan Brkic
Phone: +381 11 3023 750
E-mail: sbrkic@ifc.org


Zrenjanin, Serbia, June 11, 2007 — IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, signed an agreement with the municipality of Zrenjanin in Serbia, marking a joint commitment to improve the local business-enabling environment. Zrenjanin is one the largest municipalities in Serbia, with some 132,000 inhabitants, and is located in the northern province of Vojvodina.

“Our activities with IFC complement our development plan. We hope to reduce the administrative burden for doing business and attract new companies to our municipality,” said Goran Knezevic, Mayor of Zrenjanin.

Improving the business environment by simplifying administrative procedures and providing better services will help reduce the cost and risk of doing business, increasing the competitiveness of local municipalities and attracting more foreign direct investment.

“This agreement marks the beginning our subnational competitiveness project in Serbia. By helping municipalities simplify their procedures, we hope to develop a more favorable business environment and stimulate the development of the country’s private sector,” said Philip Condon, Head of IFC Advisory Services in Southern Europe.

According to Margo Thomas, IFC Business Enabling Environment Manager and Regional Program Coordinator, the project is designed to streamline business formalities and inspections procedures. This will help increase the transparency and quality of business regulations and reduce costs—important factors in improving competitiveness.

IFC provides advisory services to support private sector development and attract new investments in Serbia. The programs concentrate on four business lines: value addition to firms, access to finance, infrastructure advisory services, and business-enabling environment.

About IFC
IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, promotes open and competitive markets in developing countries. IFC supports sustainable private sector companies and other partners in generating productive jobs and delivering basic services, so that people have opportunities to escape poverty and improve their lives. Through FY06, IFC Financial Products have committed more than $56 billion in funding for private sector investments and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC Advisory Services and donor partners have provided more than $1 billion in program support to build small enterprises, to accelerate private participation in infrastructure, to improve the business enabling environment, to increase access to finance, and to strengthen environmental and social sustainability. For more information, please visit www.ifc.org.