Poverty reduction and shared prosperity are the overarching objectives guiding the work of the World Bank Group. These two goals laid the foundation for the latest Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Romania, which covers the next four years of the Bank Group’s engagement in the country. This new CPS integrates the country’s own development objectives and focuses on key areas of engagement where the Bank Group can support the Government to address the country’s most important needs.
“Romania has gone from 25% of European Union income per capita to 50%”, says Mamta Murthi, Country Director for Central Europe and the Baltic Countries. “This is a significant achievement in convergence with EU income levels, however more growth and convergence are needed since Romania still has the highest rate of poverty in the EU.”
Fundamental to the creation of this latest CPS was the process of inclusive consultations – seeking inputs from a wide variety of stakeholders, including Romanian officials, Civil Society Organizations, academia and representatives from the private sector. Collectively, these voices helped shape the priority areas for engagement under the CPS over the next four years.
Regional consultations were conducted in Timişoara, Cluj, Iaşi, and Constanţa and included discussions with city officials, leading members of the private sector, academics and other local and regional authorities. Discussions were also held with beneficiaries from past and current World Bank Group projects in order to learn about ongoing challenges, areas for improvement, and potential areas for future engagement.
“Our company has 3,600 employees today and we are planning to grow. This growth depends a lot on the economic environment in Romania,” noted Marius Georgescu, a Sales Manager for Hewlett-Packard in Romania.
The CPS also incorporated findings from a country survey, and a knowledge mapping exercise, conducted in 2013, to reach out to those most familiar with Bank Group operations Romania. The results were also integrated into the CPS.