World Bank: Bulgaria Taking Full Advantage of Partnership Strategy

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World Bank: Bulgaria Taking Full Advantage of Partnership Strategy

Bulgaria is taking full advantage of its World Bank Partnership Strategy by using the Bank's projects and financial knowledge to accelerate its economic growth. This was the general conclusion of the first annual report on the Programme's implementation, carried out by the Government and a Bank team, the Government's information service reported.

A meeting, chaired by Economy and Energy Minister Peter Dimitrov, was attended by Labour and Social Policy Minister Emilia Maslarova, Health Minister Prof Radoslav Gaidarski, World Bank Director for Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia Anand Seth, Deputy Ministers and experts, among others.

Bulgaria is making significant progress towards long-term stability and sustainable growth, the analysis states. As a result of its stable macroeconomic policy and structural reforms, the average rate of growth has exceeded 6 per cent per year in the period 2004-2006, and this is set to remain high in the the medium term, experts predict.

The World Bank has found that in 2007, the Government continued with its programme of reforms in order that the country can integrate its economy with that of the rest of the EU. The strong economic growth is accompanied by significant improvements in the labour market.

The Bank is firmly committed to continuing its support of Bulgaria's agenda for socioeconomic development through the adoption of European and global expertise, and of the best international practices, permanent Bank representative for Bulgaria Florian Fichtl said.

The active credit portfolio of World Bank-financed operations in Bulgaria consists of nine investment projects, including two donations forming part of the Bank-funded Global Environment Facility (GEF). The total initial amount of loans is 423.8 million USD. The projects and their respective amounts are: Road Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project - 122.5 million USD; Social Investment and Employment Promotion Project - 69.3 million USD; Health Sector Reform Project - 63.3 million USD; Second Trade and Transport Facilitation Project - 52.8 million USD; District (Regional) Heat Project, as part of the Prototype Carbon Fund (PCF) - 34.2 million USD; Revenue Administration Reform Project - 34.15 million USD; Registration and Cadastre Project - 30 million USD; Energy Efficiency GEF Project - 10 million USD; Wetlands Restoration and Pollution Reduction GEF Project - 7.5 million USD.

Bulgaria's 2007-2009 Partnership Strategy, developed in a close partnership between the World Bank and the Bulgarian Government, was approved by the Bank in June 2006.

Seth was presented with a special Foreign Ministry plaque for overall contribution to the development of Bulgaria-World Bank relations by Foreign Minister Ivailo Kalfin, the Ministry reported.

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