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IFC Supports Community Consultations on Foreign Direct Investment in Vanuatu

Port Vila, Vanuatu, November 6, 2009 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping the government of Vanuatu conduct consultations to improve the investment climate there by informing the public and local officials of the parameters and benefits of direct foreign investment and facilitating a dialogue on the subject.
Officials from the Ministry of Trade, Commerce, Industry, and Tourism; the Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority; and IFC will carry out extensive consultations on the topic in Tanna, Luganville, Lakatoro, and Port Vila. Members of the provincial government, the business community, and civil society will be invited to attend the forums. Participants will discuss the existing system for foreign direct investment and its role in generating sustainable economic benefits for Vanuatu.
“This is an excellent opportunity for the government to engage with the community on an issue that affects them,” said Smith Tebu, CEO of the Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority. “We believe that when foreign direct investment is done in the right way, it can be a vehicle for delivering more jobs, generating higher levels of income for people, and increasing government revenues.”
Jimmy Andeng, World Bank Group Advisor on Investment Climate, said, “We are delighted to be assisting the government of Vanuatu in its consultations with communities. The outcomes of these consultations will better inform government efforts in this key reform area.”
IFC promotes private sector participation to foster sustainable economic growth in Vanuatu and is funded by the governments of Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. The first community consultation will be held in Tanna from November 9 to November 11, followed by Luganville from November 16 to November 17, and Lakatoro from November 18 to November 20. Workshops also will be held in Port Vila in December.
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 .