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170 Egyptian Business Leaders Attend IFC Conference on Supply Chain Management


In Washington:
Ahmed Badawi-Malik

Phone:  +1 (202) 458-7148

Fax:      +1 (202) 974-4384

Email:
Abadawi@ifc.org

In Cairo:

Antoine Courcelle-Labrousse

Phone: +20 (2) 579-5812/5912

Fax:      +20 (2) 579-6447

Email:
acourcelle@ifc.org


CAIRO/WASHINGTON, D.C., October 12, 2004— The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, yesterday convened a one-day conference in partnership with the Egyptian Junior Business Association in Cairo: "The Strategic Importance of Supply Chain Management".

The conference provided IFC with a platform to introduce the Corporation’s Supply Chain Linkages program designed for Egypt; supply chain management is still a nascent concept for local small and medium enterprises.


IFC’s linkages program in Egypt focuses on helping large companies identify and then solve supply chain issues with its small and medium enterprise partners, and helping small businesses improve service delivery and the quality of products supplied to large businesses.


Other areas of focus of the Corporation linkages program in Egypt include providing targeted training to small businesses in general management and supply chain specific skills, and building local supply chain consultancy expertise.


Some 170 business leaders, government officials, and representatives from Egypt's
donors attended the conference, held under the patronage of H.E. Mr. Rachid Mohamed Rachid, the Egyptian foreign trade and industry minister.

The conference focused on raising awareness about supply chain management, including the importance of effective supply chain management to create competitive advantages for large firms. It also stressed to large companies the potential benefits to their “bottom line” of developing small and medium enterprises suppliers and distributors.


The conference also highlighted examples of where global best practices in supply chain management could be transferred to Egypt.


Jesper Kjaer, general manager for the Private Enterprise Partnership for Middle East and North Africa (PEP-MENA), a technical assistance facility created, funded and managed by IFC, remarked, "SMEs play a very important role in the supply chain of large companies in Egypt. But the effectiveness of their interactions and the linkages between large companies and SMEs are often poor. IFC convened the conference because we believe the focus on supply chain management in Egypt will grow significantly during the next decade."


The mission of IFC (
www.ifc.org) is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY04, IFC has committed more than $44 billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications for 3,143 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.