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World Bank Executive Directors’ Visit to Bulgaria Focuses on Knowledge Partnership in Support of EU membership

May 7, 2012


The Executive Directors met with Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev.

World Bank, author Nadezhda Chipeva

  • Executive Directors representing 72 countries visit Bulgaria during their European trip

SOFIA, May 6, 2012 — Nine Board Members representing 72 member countries of the World Bank’s Group Board* visited Bulgaria to see first hand how the unique knowledge partnership with the Government is evolving.

The Executive Directors’ (EDs) visit comes one year after a new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Bulgaria was discussed at the Board and just several months after the Government of Bulgaria and the World Bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to step up knowledge and advisory services.  The MoU marks an important shift in their 20-year partnership toward a greater focus on supporting Bulgaria’s absorption of EU funds and the National Reform Program.  This EU-centered partnership has been increasingly building on a close collaboration with the European Commission (EC), the European Investment Bank (EIB), and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).  In the first phase, the World Bank will deliver, on a cost-recovery basis, knowledge and advisory services in the areas of roads, water, innovation, and social inclusion.

The Board Members who represent nearly half of the voting power on the Board, met with Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Simeon Djankov, and  Governor of Bulgarian National Bank Ivan Iskrov to discuss Bulgaria’s goal of achieving smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Bulgarian Minister of EU Funds Management Tomislav Donchev also briefed the EDs on the newly established knowledge partnership aimed at developing and implementing strategies and projects under Operational Programs financed by EU Structural Funds.

The delegation met with the Parliamentary Committees on Budget and Finance and on European Affairs and Oversight of the European Funds, where MPs voiced their support for the World Bank’s evolving role aimed at enabling Bulgaria to benefit from its EU membership.  In other meetings, the group also heard from members of think tanks, private sector and NGOs on their views about Bulgaria’s social and economic challenges.


" As a young EU member state, Bulgaria has tremendous potential to grow in a smart, sustainable and inclusive manner and inspire other countries who seek to join the EU to follow its path "

Hassan Ahmed TAHA

Executive Director from Sudan

“As a young EU member state, Bulgaria has tremendous potential to grow in a smart, sustainable and inclusive manner and inspire other countries who seek to join the EU to follow its path”, said the delegation’s spokesperson, Mr. Hassan Ahmed TAHA, Executive Director from Sudan. “We are pleased that the World Bank Group, in collaboration with other European Institutions, has established a partnership model based on knowledge and expertise. Through this partnership, we can also learn from Bulgaria’s experience to benefit other Bank Group member states in Europe and beyond.”

During their two-day trip to Bulgaria the Executive Directors visited Karadzhalovo solar power plant, which is among the largest solar installations in Europe. This private sector led project is supported by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private lending arm of the World Bank Group. The 60,4 MWp solar plant is located close to the city of Plovdiv, the last stop of the Executive Directors visit to Bulgaria.

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors, which consists of 25 representatives covering 188 member countries, regularly reviews the World Bank’s Group work on the ground and discusses with governments and stakeholders how the Bank can best support their development priorities.

Which Executive Directors representing which countries visited Bulgaria?
Marta GARCIA JAUREGUI – Executive Director from Spain representing Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Spain, Venezuela. 
Vadim GRISHIN – Executive Director for the Russian Federation.
Marie-Lucie MORIN – Executive Director from Canada representing Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Ian SOLOMON – Executive Director for the United States of America. 
Hassan Ahmed TAHA – Executive Director from Sudan representing Botswana, Burundi, Eritrea, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia (informally), Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Shaolin YANG – Executive Director for China.
In-Kang CHO – Alternate Executive Director from Korea representing Australia, Cambodia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia FS, Mongolia, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Vanuatu. 
Stewart JAMES – Alternate Executive Director from United Kingdom. 
Ruud Treffers, Executive Director from the Netherlands representing Armenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia, Israel, FYR Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Romania, and Ukraine.