WASHINGTON, August 4, 2011 – The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved two loans to the Republic of Croatia, the Integrated Land Administration Project in the amount of EURO 16.5 and an additional financing loan for the Trade and Transport Integration Project in the amount of EURO 50 million. Both loans are building on previous successful projects.
The Integrated Land Administration Project (ILAS) is a follow on project to the successful Real Property Registration and Cadastre project which helped the Ministry of Justice, the State Geodetic Administration and Land Registry Offices to successfully complete the first phase of the reform of the land registry and cadastre. It simplified procedures, improved efficiency of services, reduced backlogs, increased transparency and access to information and developed joint procedures and a common land database under the Joint Information System (JIS). All of these reforms have been important in improving tenure security and strengthening the land administration system which are both crucial for speeding up the reform of the judiciary and public administration, the fight against corruption and doing business.
The second phase of reforms supported through the ILAS will further strengthen the land administration system, including cadastre and registration, through improved services. Easier access to digital information will further lower the costs of doing business and strengthen private sector-led growth. It will also complete the national roll-out of the Joint Information System which will provide complete data including land registry and cadastre information in one database, making this information available to citizens and the public and private sectors. The Project will also help Croatia adopt the EU INSPIRE directive, a requirement for all member states. INSPIRE calls for effective sharing of spatial data locally and across borders to the benefit of all EU public authorities and governments. To achieve this, the Project will help with the establishment of a National Spatial Data Infrastructure, allowing the implementation of e-government initiatives and effective environmental monitoring.
“By the end of the Project in 2015, we expect that the public and the business community will receive faster services and access to information through fully integrated digital data, government institutions will be able to share and view government spatial data more easily, allowing better planning and spatial development, environmental monitoring and natural resource management,” said Peter Harrold, Country Director for Central Europe and the Baltic Countries. “The increased transparency and access to digital cadastre and registry information is necessary for e-government and other modern services that Croatian citizens will expect as the country enters the European Union.”
The second loan provides additional financing to the Port of Ploce Authority for the ongoing Trade and Transport Integration Project. It is aimed at developing trade along Corridor Vc, by improving the infrastructure capacity, efficiency and quality of services at the southern end of the corridor at the Port of Ploce. Corridor Vc is an important Pan-European Transport Corridor connecting the EU with the Southeast European region, running from the Port of Ploce through Bosnia and Herzegovina into Hungary. The Project is also helping increase private sector involvement in port to make operations of the port more profitable. The additional financing will help scale up the bulk terminal currently under construction to meet increasing demand and cover the financing gap for the construction of the container terminal.
“We are pleased that we have been able to support the government and the Port of Ploce Authority in modernizing and scaling up the operations of this important European transport gateway, especially during the difficult period of the crisis when all sectors of the economy have been impacted. We look forward to the completion of the investments in the port which will not only attract more traffic to the Port but contribute to the overall improvement of the Croatian economy.” said Peter Harrold, Country Director for Central Europe and the Baltic Countries.
Since joining the World Bank in 1993, Croatia has benefited from financial and technical assistance, policy advice, and analytical services. To date, the World Bank has supported 46 operations amounting to around US$ 3 billion, and approved 52 grants with a total value of US$ 70 million.