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IFC to Help Serbia’s Vranje Municipality Improve Business Environment and 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


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 improving competitiveness.

About IFC
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, visit www.ifc.org.

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 www.ifc.org/pepse.