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Washington D.C., December 5, 2001
¯The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, will invest Euro 7.7 million in Fresh & Co A.D, a private fruit juice manufacturing and marketing company in Subotica, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY). The investment reflects IFC’s continued support for the growth of FRY’s private sector — a key factor in the country’s ongoing transition to a market economy.
Mr. Jean-Paul Pinard, Director of IFC’s Agribusiness Department, said, “The IFC investment will provide much-needed long term credit to a private manufacturing company. It is imperative that FRY’s manufacturing sector has sustained access to credit and other financial services that are an essential element of growth.” Mr. Pinard also expressed hope that Fresh & Co A.D could become a model for future foreign investment in FRY’s manufacturing sector.
Fresh & Co A.D is a producer of packaged fruit juices for the Yugoslav and regional market, with capability to process local fruits into purees and a range of juices. The company uses both local and imported raw and packaging materials. The investment in Fresh & Co A.D marks the first IFC investment in the manufacturing sector in Yugoslavia.
Additionally, upon IFC’s recommendation, the company has also begun a restructuring to improve transparency and corporate governance. A $125,000 technical assistance (TA) trust fund was secured by IFC from the Swedish International Development Agency. This TA assignment involves assistance in design and installation of cost controls, accounting and management information systems, management training, and assistance in carrying out an International Accounting Standard (IAS) audit.
In May 2001, the World Bank Executive Board confirmed FRY’s succession to the membership of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Following its membership to the World Bank, FRY’s membership in IFC was confirmed. Since then, IFC has played an active role in FRY, assessing various business sectors with potential. Earlier this month, IFC invested Euro 1 million in a local bank that supports small and medium-sized enterprises.
Mr. Khosrow Zamani, IFC Director for Southern Europe and Central Asia, said: “We intend to provide FRY with strong support for restarting the flow of investment capital, which will be the driving force for the country’s economic recovery. The investment in Fresh & Co. A.D is one example of that.”
IFC’s mission 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, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. Since its founding in 1956, IFC has committed more than $31 billion of its own funds and arranged $20 billion in syndications for 2,636 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s committed portfolio at the end of FY01 was $14.3 billion
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