How Multinationals Can Leverage the Role of the IFC for Development

By Ibrahim Ismayilov, Samir Taghiyev, Olga Godunova, and Farzin Mirmotahari

In 1994 the multinational energy company BP, together with a group of other oil companies, signed a production sharing agreement with the government of Azerbaijan to develop the country’s oil and gas wealth. This agreement was officially called the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) oil development and Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline projects, but was widely referred to as the “Contract of the Century.” It offered Azerbaijan, an independent country following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the opportunity to use its natural resources to improve the lives of its people and ameliorate widespread poverty. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) was one of the leading financiers of this project.

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