Ottawa, ON — Dec. 3, 2001 – Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) recently signed a letter of agreement whereby CME and IFC will assist business associations to become established in Western China and Vietnam.
This partnership, to which Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) is also to be a joint sponsor, is one of several initiatives led by the World Bank Group’s Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) department. SME is one of six joint Bank-IFC departments.
CIDA’s SME department and its project development facilities support the growth and advancement of business associations world-wide and help to improve best practices activities – both key elements of a well-functioning private sector.
Through this partnership CME will, jointly with the targeted associations, assist in the development of action plans and deliver technical assistance to ensure their implementation. The plans will cover such areas as the expansion of membership services, public relations, policy development, and advocacy. In addition, strategies to ensure financial stability for each association will also be developed.
As part of this partnership, CME will work with the Confederation of Danish Industries, International Chamber of Commerce, and the Center for International Private Enterprise to develop best practices to benchmark and assess the performance of business associations in developing countries.
Last year, CME carried out a similar project on behalf of the World Bank in Bosnia and Herzegovina, working with seven fledging associations in that country.
By Bill Roebuck, Editor