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WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 11 -- The International Finance Corporation (IFC) announced today two new privatization initiatives intended to help Ukraine build its private sector and reclaim its position as the "breadbasket of Europe." IFC will assist the Ukrainian Government in privatizing its collective and state farms and agribusiness sector. Drawing on experience in economic reform at the grass-roots level elsewhere in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, IFC and the British Know-How Fund will develop an agricultural land privatization model that will allow Ukraine's farmers to establish individual ownership rights over Ukraine's 47 million hectares of state and collective farm land. The program will be designed and implemented on three pilot farms in Donetsk province. Once a land privatization model is established, replication on a national scale can take place. IFC and the British Know-How Fund will also expand their current assistance in voucher privatization to designing and implementing a new agribu
siness privatization approach. Agribusiness enterprises represent half of all 8,000 large firms slated for voucher privatization. The scheme, which IFC is developing with the State Property Fund of Ukraine, will involve all stakeholders in the agribusiness privatization process, including workers, suppliers, the general public, investment funds, and foreign investors. IFC and the Know-How Fund are already working in the key industrial region of Kharkiv to prepare enterprises for sale through the voucher privatization program, and will implement the new agribusiness scheme there. These initiatives are a continuation of IFC's privatization work in Ukraine. Since 1992, IFC has taken a leading role in helping Ukraine to make the transition to a market economy, with the support of the British Know-How Fund and USAID. IFC has helped privatize over 3,000 small businesses and provided post-privatization training to new business owners. IFC has also assisted Kharkiv in processing manufacturing companies for voucher pr
ivatization, with 80 firms offered or in process so far, and provided policy assistance in privatization legislation for the national government. IFC presently has 80 full-time staff based in Ukraine and will expand its presence to reflect these new initiatives. (more) Press Release No. 96/39, page 2 of 2 "These projects re-emphasize IFC's long-term commitment to helping Ukraine succeed in its reform efforts," commented Wilfried Kaffenberger, Vice President, IFC Operations. "With the generous support of the British Know-How Fund, an important partner for us in our work in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, we look forward to working closely with the Ukrainian Government to strengthen the country's competitiveness in the agricultural sector." IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is the largest multilateral source of equity and loan financing for private sector projects in developing countries.
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