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IFC confidently invests in Georgia

By Salome Modebadze
Thursday, August 26
Lars Thunell, the Executive Vice President of International Finance Corporation (IFC) a member of the World Bank Group paid a visit to Georgia on August 25. The head of one of the world's largest financial organisations shared the details of his visit after the closed door meeting with the Prime Minister of Georgia Nika Gilauri. He welcomed the successful development of the investment environment in Georgia and expressed the readiness of the IFC to provide the business sector with more funding.

“IFC has already signed a project worth USD 340 million for major investment in your country. Our main areas of interest are in the banking sector, business environment, infrastructural projects, etc. Georgia needs major improvements in infrastructure due to its geopolitical location, as well as encouragement of the agricultural sector with proper logistical activities. These are areas we will fund in Georgia,” Thunell said at a joint briefing.

According to the IFC Executive Vice President, the main reason for financing Georgia is to improve the living conditions of the citizens by helping to overcome poverty levels and creating new jobs. “IFC greatly encouraged the Georgian banking sector during the financial crisis in the country. We will continue supporting Georgia by promoting its competitiveness in the world economy through a well-developed infrastructure. Georgia is the best reforming country – we should widen our cooperation by developing the agricultural, infrastructural and banking sectors,” Thunell concluded.

IFC invests in enterprises with private sector majority-ownership in developing countries throughout the world. Georgia received IFC membership in June 29, 1995 and the IFC has continued supporting the Georgian banking sector and contributed to the sustainability of the fiscal sector in the country affected by the Russian aggression even in August 2008. For its assistance to the stability of Georgian financial sector PM Nika Gilauri thanked the IFC for its great support stressing that the stability of the banking sector has had an important influence on the healthy development of the financial environment in our country. “We spoke about the different projects for deepening our cooperation. Georgia has been fruitfully working with the IFC for several years already and we hope this partnership will continue in the future,” said the PM.

IFC fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilising capital in the international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. IFC helps companies and financial institutions in emerging markets create jobs, generate tax revenues, improve corporate governance and environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities. The goal is to improve lives, especially for the people who most need the benefits of growth.

“The support from organisations like IFC is important not only for our country but all the developing countries in the world,” economic analyst Gia Khukhashvili told The Messenger, “but the main problem of such international funding is how the Government of Georgia will use the money – ensuring transparency of the process and efficiency of using money remains the main problem in our country. Thunell seems to be content with Georgia’s achievements but I wonder what he is comparing the situation with? I doubt that IFC is carrying out any monitoring of the investment processes in our country,” Khukhashvili told us.