Vranje, Serbia, September 20, 2007—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement with the Serbian
municipality of Vranje, marking a joint commitment to improve the local
business enabling environment. Vranje is located in the south. With some
90,000 inhabitants, it is one the country’s largest municipalities.
“Economic development is important
for Vranje and southern Serbia. Improving the business environment and
increasing private investment are some of the conditions for economic growth.
IFC’s assistance in this effort to reduce administrative burdens for businesses
is critical,” said Miroljub Stojcic, Mayor of Vranje.
Simplifying administrative procedures
and providing better services will help reduce the cost and risk of doing
business, improving the competitiveness of local municipalities and attracting
more foreign direct investment.
“The objective is to help Vranje develop
a more favorable business environment. By making administrative procedures
simpler for business at the municipal level, we hope to 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 subnational
competitiveness 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
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 Serbia. 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, please visit