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IFC Chief Recognizes Gains in Ease of Doing Business, Aims to Do More in Zambia

Lusaka, Zambia, November 9, 2010 – IFC Executive Vice President and CEO Lars Thunell today recognized Zambia for being one of the top ten most improved economies for the ease of doing business this year and pledged IFC would do more to help the country grow its economy, especially by supporting its important agriculture sector. IFC is a member of the World Bank Group.
During his second visit to Zambia, Thunell had scheduled meetings with Zambian President Rupiah Banda, Vice President, George Kunda, Minister of Finance and National Planning, Situmbeko Musokotwane, and other Zambian ministers, including the minister of trade, commerce and industry, business leaders, and IFC clients and partners. Thunell also visited a beef producer outside Lusaka, where he discussed ways IFC could increase its support for Zambian agriculture.
“Zambia has made a number of important regulatory changes that will spur growth and attract investment and I congratulate the country for being among the global top 10 economies for improving the ease of doing business,” Thunell said. “IFC is committed to supporting Zambia’s long-term growth and future reform efforts and will work with business and government leaders to help the country strengthen its agriculture sector.”
Over the last year, Zambia made it easier to start a business and for companies to trade across borders. It also improved enforcement of contracts. These reforms helped Zambia jump 8 places, from 84 to 76, in the World Bank Group’s Doing Business Report, which ranks countries around the world according to their ease of doing business.
 IFC has been working closely with Zambia’s public and private sectors, supporting their efforts to increase the ease of doing business in the country, strengthen the private sector, and to diversify the economy beyond mining.
To support Zambia’s agriculture sector, IFC launched the Zambia Emerging Farmers Program in 2008. The program is helping smaller farmers access the financing and support they need to grow their businesses and make a bigger impact on the country’s economy.
Working with Zambia National Commercial Bank (Zanaco) and the Zambia National Farmers Union, IFC expects to help 300 farmers acquire loans averaging $50,000 each over the next three years.
IFC, which has commitments in Zambia totaling $65.7 million, is seeking to increase its investments and advisory programs in the country with a focus on the mining, agribusiness, tourism, financial, energy and other important sectors.
While in Africa, Thunell will also travel to Malawi, where he will meet with government officials and private sector partners.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit