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PRESS RELEASE

Bolivia and Palestine will share experiences in monetary policy and financial development

October 11, 2013

WASHINGTON, October 11, 2013 – The official delegations of Bolivia and Palestine at the Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group signed a Letter of Intent today to expand collaboration and share lessons learned on applying monetary policy and issues associated with financial development.

The signing ceremony was led by Viviana Caro, minister of Planning Development of Bolivia, Jihad Alwazir, president of the Palestine Monetary Authority (PMA), and Hasan Tuluy, World Bank regional vice-president for Latin America and the Caribbean.

 “We celebrate this meeting, which enables us, through the Letter of Intent, to establish clear lines of action for our respective monetary authorities and those of financial system oversight in an effort to exchange relevant experiences in monetary policy and financial system development. This knowledge exchange will greatly benefit both nations, said Caro.

The signing of the Letter of Intent is the result of a visit by a Palestinian economic delegation to Bolivia, sponsored by the World Bank in April 2013. On that occasion, the two countries exchanged experiences on the performance of their central banks in terms of prudent management of monetary policy and other regulations. In this South-South exchange, participants expressed an interest in possible business investments by both nations.

“The World Bank facilitates South-South cooperation so that countries can exchange knowledge and experiences with respect to their efforts to fight poverty. Today we see how Palestine and Bolivia have strengthened their cooperation with a view to making their government efforts more efficient and generating more development opportunities for their citizens,” said Tuluy.

The Letter of Intent was agreed upon by the World Bank and the Palestinian Government, and on the part of Bolivia, by the Ministry of Development Planning, the Central Reserve Bank, the Financial System Oversight Authority (ASFI) and the Autonomous Municipal Government of La Paz.

 “This Letter of Intent is an important step for expanding bilateral relations between Palestine and Bolivia and also for the Palestine Monetary Authority since it provides a platform to share successful experiences in the protection and development of the Palestinian financial system in specific circumstances,” said Alwazir.

As part of this collaboration, the Central Bank of Bolivia proposed the development of a South-South exchange on operations management with other banks despite the geographic challenges. For its part, the Palestinian government will share its experience with efforts to fight money laundering. In addition, Bolivian Central Bank representatives will visit Palestine to learn about the activities of the Palestine Monetary Authority.

The ASFI agreed to exchange experiences for the development of a securities market and with respect to methodologies, instruments and experiences for bank regulation and oversight, with an emphasis on microfinance and financial inclusion.

The Autonomous Municipal Government of La Paz proposed that La Paz, the highest capital in the world, and Jericho, the lowest, become sister cities.

In recent years, the World Bank Group has facilitated several South-South cooperation exchanges in Bolivia. Bolivian and Palestinian authorities agreed that formal and commercial ties could result from these mutually beneficial initiatives.

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WB.LAC/11.10.13