SIROKI BRIJEG, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA, March
15, 1999 — The International Finance Corporation signed an agreement yesterday
to loan US$2.5 million to Lijanovici, d.o.o., a family-owned company that
began operations as a single butcher shop in 1981 and now is one of the
large-scale meat processors in the Balkans.
Lijanovici will use the loan to expand and modernize its meat processing
facility based in Siroki Brijeg, Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH), allowing it
to meet local demand and expand market share throughout the Balkans. Production
of processed meats should increase by 30 percent after the refurbishment,
making products available for both domestic and export markets.
Three years of war, from1992 to1995, devastated the economy of BiH, and
the damage to farm production, livestock and food processing was severe.
Much of the demand for meat and meat products in BiH and neighboring Croatia
must currently be met by imported products because the livestock base (cattle,
sheep and pigs) in the region was virtually destroyed. IFC is providing
technical assistance to help the company foster domestic livestock farming
by increasing its contracts with local independent farmers from Republika
Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Mr. Peter Woicke, the Executive Vice President of IFC, said the investment
in Lijanovici will support and encourage the development of the private
sector in BiH, and will contribute to the revival of the food production
and distribution system in the country, which is one of IFC's key strategic
objectives in BiH.
IFC and Israeli Trust Funds were used to assist Lijanovici in preparation
of its investment program.
IFC, part of the World Bank Group, fosters economic growth in the developing
world by financing private sector investments, mobilizing capital in the
international financial markets, and providing technical assistance and
advice to governments and businesses.