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IFC, Australia, Indonesia Help Improve Investment in South Sulawesi’s Cocoa Industry

Jakarta, Indonesia, December 16, 2009— IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the provincial government of South Sulawesi, Indonesia, aimed at improving investment in the cocoa industry and create jobs.  
The 18-month partnership between IFC, the Australian and Indonesian governments, and South Sulawesi will help prioritize reforms to reduce regulatory and administrative barriers for small cocoa farmers, as well as promote adoption of sustainability standards for cocoa. It will identify policy constraints to reforms, support the government in implementing reforms, and share lessons learned with cocoa stakeholders in other regions across Indonesia, as well as stakeholders working on other commodities.
“We are pleased to partner with IFC and the Australian Government to improve the investment climate for cocoa in South Sulawesi,” said Syahrul Yasin Limpo, Governor of South Sulawesi province. “This is an important step to promote sustainable growth of the industry, and most importantly to improve the lives of many rural households in Sulawesi,”
Adam Sack, IFC Country Manager for Indonesia, said: “Regulatory hurdles are often identified as key impediment to larger agribusinesses engaging directly with small cocoa farmers who provide income and livelihoods for hundreds of thousands of families. Improving the regulations and the business environment for agribusiness will increase investment in the sector and create much-needed jobs in rural areas.”
The collaboration is co-funded by the Australia Indonesia Partnership’s Smallholder Agribusiness Development Initiative to improve the livelihoods of small farmers in rural areas. The program’s Director, Jacqueline L. Pomeroy, said: “The constraints that inhibit the growth of the cocoa industry in South Sulawesi are complex. Therefore, partnerships with all stakeholders in the industry are crucial to increase competitiveness, and improve the lives of smallholders in rural areas.”  
IFC is currently seeking a capital increase from its shareholders to strengthen its ability to support the private sector and opportunity in developing countries—including by helping implement reform programs such as those benefitting small farmers in Indonesia.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org .
About the Australia Indonesia Partnership
Through the Australia Indonesia Partnership, the two countries are committed to working together to reduce poverty and promote regional peace, stability, and prosperity. This includes improving the livelihoods of smallholders and others in rural areas. Development assistance in is provided by the Australian Agency for International Development in partnership with Indonesia’s National Planning Agency). For more information, visit www.ausaid.gov.au.