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SIROKI BRIJEG, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA, March 15, 1999 — The International Finance Corporation signed an agreement yesterday to loan US$2.5 million to Lijanovici, d.o.o., a family-owned company that began operations as a single butcher shop in 1981 and now is one of the large-scale meat processors in the Balkans.
Lijanovici will use the loan to expand and modernize its meat processing facility based in Siroki Brijeg, Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH), allowing it to meet local demand and expand market share throughout the Balkans. Production of processed meats should increase by 30 percent after the refurbishment, making products available for both domestic and export markets.
Three years of war, from1992 to1995, devastated the economy of BiH, and the damage to farm production, livestock and food processing was severe. Much of the demand for meat and meat products in BiH and neighboring Croatia must currently be met by imported products because the livestock base (cattle, sheep and pigs) in the region was virtually destroyed. IFC is providing technical assistance to help the company foster domestic livestock farming by increasing its contracts with local independent farmers from Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Mr. Peter Woicke, the Executive Vice President of IFC, said the investment in Lijanovici will support and encourage the development of the private sector in BiH, and will contribute to the revival of the food production and distribution system in the country, which is one of IFC's key strategic objectives in BiH.
IFC and Israeli Trust Funds were used to assist Lijanovici in preparation of its investment program.
IFC, part of the World Bank Group, fosters economic growth in the developing world by financing private sector investments, mobilizing capital in the international financial markets, and providing technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.
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