Press Releases

IFC and the Netherlands Help FYR Macedonia Enhance Business Environment with Mediation

In Skopje:
Marina Perunovska
Phone: +389 2 32 23 306

In Belgrade:
Slobodan Brkić
Phone: +381 11 3023 750

In Washington, D.C.:
Lucie Giraud
Phone: +1 (202) 458-4662

Skopje, FYR Macedonia, November 23, 2009—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is partnering with the Ministry of Justice of the FYR Macedonia to introduce mediation, an important tool to enhance the business environment by helping businesses unlock capital tied up in litigation and reduce pressure on clogged courts.

IFC’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Program has paved the way for introducing mediation in Southeast Europe by supporting the changes in the legal environment, training more than 500 mediators, developing a network of 11 mediation centers throughout the region. It also is educating businesses, investors, legal professionals, and state representatives about the benefits of mediation. The program is funded by the Dutch government.

Mediation is a process in which a third neutral party—mediator—assists parties in dispute to reach a mutually acceptable solution. The mediator has no power to impose the decision; the parties in dispute craft the decision themselves.

“Resolving a commercial dispute through litigation can take several years,” said Giovanni Daniele, IFC Resident Representative. “Waiting so long for an outcome can bankrupt a small business and, more broadly, deter foreign companies wishing to invest in the countries of the region.”

The Ministry of Justice will cooperate with IFC in establishing the institutional infrastructure for mediation in the country by using best practices from the region. During the last four years, more than 3,000 disputes across the region were resolved through mediation. As a result, some $86 million of funds tied up in litigations was released.

“Companies need to resolve disputes quickly and they should not hesitate to seek the assistance of mediators,” said Mihajlo Manevski, FYR Macedonia’s Minister of Justice. “The introduction of mediation also will have a positive effect on the overall efficiency of our courts, as the existing backlog of cases will be substantially reduced.”

IFC is the only international financial institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable development in emerging markets. Along with IBRD, it is currently seeking a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity for the poor in developing countries.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit