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IFC, British Embassy Help Sarajevo Canton Improve Business Environment

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, November 13, 2015 - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement with the government of Sarajevo Canton to help improve the local business environment by simplifying administrative procedures and providing better services to investors.
The deal is part of a new IFC project that seeks to enable local governments in Bosnia and Herzegovina to increase investment and private sector competitiveness by reducing business costs and improving transparency. The project also aims to make acquiring permits and licenses easier, faster, and cheaper for local businesses.
“At the moment we have more investors interested in Sarajevo than ever before," said Elm edin Konakoviæ, Cantonal Prime M inister, Sarajevo. “With this project, we want to end slow procedures and administrative abuses. We trust that the Cantonal Assembly will recognize the importance of this process and help us move fast with legal changes to cut the red tape.”
Sarajevo Canton is one of ten cantons in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Its capital, Sarajevo, is also the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. As a strong economic region, Sarajevo generates more than a third of country’s GDP. Its major industries are tourism, food processing, and manufacturing.
“Our goal is to improve the canton’s investment climate for domestic and foreign investors,” said Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Manager for the Western Balkans. “We will be working with the canton on regulatory reform that will increase transparency and attract investment to Sarajevo to boost economic growth.”
The UK Government contributed $2.9 million to the broader national project, which will continue through 2018. The Sarajevo Canton project will be implemented by the government of Sarajevo Canton, the World Bank Group, and IFC, in partnership with the British Embassy in Sarajevo.
“The UK Government is proud to support this project,” said Edward Ferguson, British Ambassador, British Embassy in Sarajevo. “Today, Bosnia and Herzegovina ranks 175th in the world for setting up a new business, and 171st for getting construction permits, according to the World Bank’s Doing Business report. This is a huge barrier to domestic and foreign investment. In cooperation with cantonal, municipal, and city authorities in Sarajevo and East Sarajevo, with UK funding and World Bank expertise, we plan concrete improvements that will help the private sector succeed and grow, creating new jobs and sending a message that Bosnia and Herzegovina is open for business.”  
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise, and influence, to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY15, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $18 billion, helping the private sector play an essential role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit .
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