SOFIA, July 26, 2012 – The Bulgarian Government has signed today two service agreements with the World Bank to provide advisory services in development of the National Strategy for Water Supply and Sanitation (WSS), and the “Smart Specialization Strategy” for Innovation. The agreements were signed by Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism, Delian Dobrev, and Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Public Works, Dobromir Simidchiev. The World Bank Regional Director for Central Europe and Baltic Countries Peter Harrold signed on behalf of the World Bank.
Both service agreements are developed under the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Government of Bulgaria and the World Bank on partnership and support in the implementation of the EU Structural Instruments, signed in January this year. The MoU set the scene for Bulgaria’s unique knowledge partnership with International Financial Institutions. It includes a mechanism that allows the Government to draw on EU Funds to cover the costs of knowledge and advisory services of the European Investment Bank (EIB), and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and the World Bank.
The development of the National Strategy for Water Supply and Sanitation, and “Smart Specialization Strategy” is instrumental for Bulgaria in order to get prepared for the next EU programming period 2014-2020. Both strategies are essential to further enhance Bulgaria’s investment plans for water and sanitation sector and innovation infrastructure.
“The World Bank has been partnering with Bulgaria over the last 20 years, providing financing, but also knowledge and advice. Through these agreements we shift the focus of our partnership to one based on knowledge, and tailored to support Bulgaria’s absorption of EU funds, and implement the National Reform Program”, the World Bank Regional Director for Central Europe and Baltic Countries Peter Harrold said.