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IFC CEO Pledges Increased Cooperation with Partners to Support Mali’s Economic Growth

Bamako, Mali, June 17, 2010 —Lars Thunell, Executive Vice President and CEO of IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today said that IFC is committed to increasing its collaboration with the World Bank and other development partners to support sustainable economic growth in Mali.
Thunell was speaking during a visit to Mali, where he met private sector clients and government official including President Amadou Toumani Touré, Prime Minister Modibo Sidibé, and Minister of the Economy and Finance Sanoussi Touré.
Thunell also attended talks with other World Bank Group officials and donors on replenishing funds for the International Development Agency, a part of the World Bank that aims to reduce poverty in the world’s poorest countries by providing interest-free credit and grants or programs that boost economic growth, recue inequalities, and improve people’s living conditions.
“Amid continued uncertainty about the global economic outlook, it is more important than ever to deepen our support for sustainable economic growth in the poorest countries,” Thunell said. “IFC is committed to strengthen our collaboration with other members of the World Bank Group, as well as other partners, so we can create more opportunity for the people of Mali.”
IFC’s strategy in Mali focuses on strengthening the financial sector so that it can better support smaller businesses; helping the country diversify its economy by promoting industries such as agribusiness, manufacturing, and tourism; and working to improve Mali’s infrastructure.  As of June 15, 2010, IFC’s committed portfolio in Mali totaled $32 million, including investments in the manufacturing, agribusiness, and financial sectors.  
Many of IFC’s projects in Mali involve close collaboration with partners. For example, IFC is collaborating with the government of Mali and the International Development Agency to provide credit and Advisory Services to micro, small, and medium enterprise. The program is helping Bank of Africa Mali extend more loans to smaller businesses, a key constraint to the private sector.  IFC is also working with the World Bank to help Mali’s government improve its investment climate, which will help ease some of the barriers faced by the country’s private sector.
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 $14.4 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit .