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Press Release

World Bank Group Launches WWW-based Privatization Information Service for International Investors

World Bank Group Launches WWW-based Privatization Information Service for International Investors

Washington, June 1, 1998 — The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) today announced the launch of PrivatizationLink, an Internet-based information service for firms seeking to invest in privatized enterprises within the world's emerging economies.

The service will initially cover selected countries in Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, later expanding to include other regions. PrivatizationLink provides on-line access to business profiles of state-owned companies and assets currently for sale, along with details of the relevant laws, regulations and procedures governing these transactions. Access to PrivatizationLink is free at http://www.privatizationlink.com, although first-time users are required to register with the service.

PrivatizationLink is a specialized facility within the Investment Promotion Network (IPAnet), MIGA's on-line information clearinghouse for companies engaged in cross-border investment, which has been in operation since 1995 at http://www.ipanet.net. MIGA is collaborating with national privatization agencies as well as privatization experts in the World Bank's Europe/Central Asia and Africa regions' Private Sector and Finance Units to collect firm business profiles as well as the country-specific information and analysis available through the PrivatizationLink WWW site.

Commenting on this new service, Karin Millett, Manager of MIGA's Investment Marketing Services Department, said, "PrivatizationLink is an exciting new information dissemination initiative which MIGA is undertaking as part of its mandate to foster foreign direct investment flows in developing countries and transition economies. We are pleased to build upon the success of IPAnet by launching this important new resource for the benefit of the international investment community as well as governments that are seeking qualified private sector investors for their state-run enterprises."

Lajos Bokros, former minister of finance of Hungary, and now Sector Director of the World Bank's Private Sector and Financial Development Unit of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region, notes, "Heightened international visibility for upcoming privatization tenders will help to increase the pool of qualified investors bidding for these firms and enhance the transparency of the process."

Tom Allen, Sector Manager for the World Bank's Africa Private Sector and Finance Unit, added, "PrivatizationLink will help overcome many of the information related obstacles which hinder foreign participation in privatization in SubSaharan Africa."

The PrivatizationLink service consists of the following major elements:

  • Databank: This is a searchable database of privatization-related investment opportunities as well as background information on the privatization programs of the countries covered by the service. Users can search by country, sector or keyword to retrieve detailed profiles of enterprises and assets being offered for sale.
  • News and Events: The publishers of Privatisation International, a leading source of information on privatization issues, are providing a free on-line news service for PrivatizationLink registrants, focusing on privatization topics. The News and Events section of the service will also feature hyperlinks to other relevant news sources and will host a calendar of privatization-related conferences and events. Privatisation International is published in hard copy monthly by IFR Publications.
  • Business Directory: PrivatizationLink also features a searchable directory of government, multilateral and private sector organizations and individuals involved in privatization.
  • Virtual Library: This part of the service provides a compendium of privatization laws, statistical summaries of previous privatization transactions and a bibliography of privatization-related publications. The Library also features hyperlinks to the WWW sites of national privatization agencies, as well as other private sector, government and multilateral organizations that provide support to privatization efforts in various regions of the world.

Users of PrivatizationLink also have full access to the vast amount of country and sector-specific information cataloged in IPAnet, which presently numbers over 7000 information resources drawn from more than 300 investment-related organizations worldwide.