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IFC Commends Business-Friendly Reforms in Zambia, Pledges Continued Support

Lusaka, Zambia, July 15, 2010 – IFC Vice President for Business Advisory Services, Rachel Kyte, said today that IFC would remain a strong partner helping Zambia strengthen its private sector, and commended the country’s recent successes in improving access to credit, tax payment procedures and contract enforcement. IFC is a member of the World Bank Group.
Kyte is in Zambia on a two-day visit to see how IFC can increase its investments and advisory services to support the country’s sustainable economic growth. She is meeting with government officials, private sector clients, and donors and development partners.
Kyte said, “Private enterprise is a country’s most reliable growth engine. Zambian leaders recognize that reality and have taken important steps to support private entrepreneurs in starting new businesses and formalizing existing ones. This is also a positive sign for investors who are looking for predictability and stability. The reforms have enhanced Zambia’s competitiveness in the global market.”
The Honorable Felix Mutati said, “Government is moving ahead with business environment reforms that aim to turn Zambia into an attractive investment destination. The ongoing business licensing and Doing Business reforms, as well as the one-stop business registration efforts, are key initiatives that will remove constraints for private entrepreneurs, reduce costs and make it easier to do business in Zambia.”
Over the last two years, IFC has backed Zambia’s efforts to increase business activity in the country, including supporting the growth of small and medium enterprises. IFC has also helped Zambia with its business licensing reform program and its Doing Business reform agenda.
Zambia scores well on a number of indicators in the World Bank Group’s Doing Business report 2010, which ranks countries based on ease of doing business,
It takes 18 days in Zambia to register a business, compared with an average of 45.6 in Sub-Saharan Africa. Registering property is also easier in Zambia compared to most Sub-Saharan countries, taking 39 days compared with an average of 80.7 for the sub-continent. Overall, Zambia improved its ranking from 100 th in 2009 to 90 th in 2010 on the World Bank’s Doing Business Report.
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 capital for private enterprise, 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 .