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
Some 170 business leaders, government officials, and representatives from
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
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.