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IFC Supports Vino Zupa to Strengthen Serbia’s Agribusiness and Boost Rural Employment


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


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

IFC Supports Vino Zupa to Strengthen Serbia’s Agribusiness and Boost Rural Employment  
 
Belgrade, Serbia, June 8, 2012 – IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing a loan of up to €12.5 million to Serbia’s beverage maker Vino Zupa to support development of agribusiness in the country, where about 44 percent of the population lives in rural areas, and about one-third rely on agriculture for their livelihood.

This loan will help Vino Zupa to enhance overall performance and its environmental and social standards. IFC financing will support additional bottling and fruit concentrate production capacity, as well as improvements in energy supply and wastewater treatment. In addition to the financing, IFC will advise Vino Zupa on how to improve its corporate governance.

“With IFC as a partner, we will continue to seek the highest standards in our operations,” said Rade Jevtovic, CEO of Vino Zupa. “This loan demonstrates the confidence of one of the world's leading financial institutions in our business strategy, and strengthens our ability to make considerable improvements at Vino Zupa.”

Agriculture represents 21 percent of Serbia’s gross domestic product and continues to generate a trade surplus for the country. In 2011, Serbia’s total agricultural exports increased by 20 percent year on year, reaching $2.8 billion. Fruits and vegetables are one of the main export categories, at 16 percent of total agricultural exports. Vino Zupa procures its fruits from the Zupa area of the Raska district, a region with one of the highest unemployment rates in Serbia.

“Vino Zupa has strong links to more than 14,000 fruit farmers, retailers, and other small companies,” said Tomasz Telma, IFC Director for Europe and Central Asia. “Fruit production is a major employment generator for rural households and has a direct impact on poverty reduction, particularly in frontier regions where agriculture is critical to creating and maintaining jobs.”

Serbia became a member of IFC in 2001. Today, IFC's investment portfolio in Serbia stands at $710 million (€566 million), including financing mobilized from other partners. Through its Advisory Services, IFC aims to improve the investment climate, increase the use of renewable energy, strengthen corporate governance, and attract private sector participation in development of infrastructure projects.  

About IFC


IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

For more information about Vino Zupa, visit www.vinozupa.com

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