WASHINGTON, December 15, 2015 — The World Bank Groups’ Board of Executive Directors today endorsed a new Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for 2016-2020 to support faster implementation of reforms in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The strategic framework builds on twenty years of strong partnership between Bosnia and Herzegovina and the World Bank Group.
The Country Partnership Framework comes at a critical time for Bosnia and Herzegovina when the Council of Ministers, Government of Republika Srpska, and Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina have launched implementation of a jointly agreed Reform Agenda. The country has also re-energized progress towards EU accession in the past year, which serves as a natural anchor for consolidated support from the international community.
“Consensus on Reform Agenda priorities provides a strong foundation for immediate implementation of structural reforms” said Ellen Goldstein, World Bank Country Director for Western Balkans. “The new World Bank Group Country Partnership Framework will provide analysis, advice and financing to accelerate implementation of reforms designed to restore economic growth.”
Through the strategic framework the World Bank Group will support reforms in three areas: (1) increasing public sector efficiency and effectiveness; (2) creating conditions for accelerated private sector growth; and (3) building resilience to natural shocks. The framework includes a cross-cutting theme of inclusion that will inform the choice and design of specific interventions under the strategy, to ensure that reforms are socially sustainable, and that vulnerable groups are not left behind as new opportunities open.
“The overarching objective of this new strategy is to put Bosnia and Herzegovina on a better growth path, and to support job creation in the private sector”, said Tatiana Proskuryakova, World Bank Country Manager for Bosnia and Herzegovina and the main author of the CPF. “We will be working closely with the authorities to create conditions in which the entrepreneurial talents of the people of this country can fuel growth and prosperity.”
The framework envisions around US$ 750 million of new lending from the World Bank in the next four years, depending on the scope and pace of reform implementation. Private investors in Bosnia and Herzegovina may also receive funding from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in the range of US$70-120 million, depending on demand and market conditions, as well as guarantees from the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).
"IFC will continue supporting the private sector through investments and advisory work to encourage economic growth and job creation in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” said Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Manager for the Western Balkans. "IFC will be engaged in efforts to improve the business environment, attract private sector participation in infrastructure projects and help to improve access to finance and resolution of non-performing loans.”
The new Country Partnership Framework was prepared on the basis of extensive consultations with a range of stakeholders at all levels of government and in civil society, academia, private sector and international community. The resulting framework reflects a consensus of stakeholders on the reform process and a shared understanding of development priorities and challenges facing the country. To grow and improve the standard of living in the long run, Bosnia and Herzegovina needs to become more competitive and export more products. The reforms supported by the framework contribute to this objective, by maintaining a stable macroeconomic environment, reducing the footprint of the public sector and supporting conditions for private sector growth that will stimulate growth, exports and job creation.
The World Bank has an on-going portfolio of 12 operations in BiH for a total amount of US$576 million; IFC has eight private investments for a total outstanding portfolio of US$ 69 million; MIGA is currently supporting six projects with gross exposure of US$ 285 million.
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