WASHINGTON, June 14, 2007 — The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors discussed today the new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Chile, which projects financial assistance of up to US$250 million between 2007 and 2010 to support the country’s development agenda. In addition, the Board of Directors approved two loans for a total of US$41.7 million to support the strengthening of the Ministry of Public Works.
“Chile has successfully pursued a growth and social agenda that has transformed the country into a highly competitive, globally integrated export nation while at the same time reducing poverty to below 14 percent. The World Bank has been an active partner in supporting Chile’s development agenda. The new CPS continues this partnership, and seeks to provide particular support to Chile’s goal of convergence with OECD income levels and living standards,” said Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank Country Director for Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.
The Bank’s program of lending and advisory services supports the development program of President Michelle Bachelet’s administration: “Growth with Equality of Opportunity.” The strategy is the result of close collaboration with the Government and has been informed by the World Bank Group’s sustained consultation with civil society, local governments, educators and the private sector. Key areas of support identified in the CPS include: Innovation; Infrastructure and Public Services; Public Sector Management; Sustainable Development and the Environment; Education; and Social Protection.
During the Board discussion, Executive Directors noted Chile’s strong record of economic growth and poverty reduction, and welcomed a World Bank Group strategy that assists the Chileans’ continuing efforts to reduce inequality, strengthen educational quality, improve productivity, and reduce energy insecurity. The Executive Directors also noted the Government’s commitment to maintain macroeconomic stability and pursue sustainable economic and social development, including increased efforts to help the poor.
In addition to discussing the CPS, the Board also approved two loans to advance Chile’s infrastructure agenda. Both operations are in support of institutional strengthening of the Ministry of Public Works; the US$30 million development policy loan and a technical assistance loan for US$11.7 million are designed to complement Chile’s substantial investment in infrastructure, which over the past decade has averaged more than 5 percent of GDP. The investments aim to strengthen planning and project management functions within the Ministry, improve regulatory oversight of public works and concessions, and increase transparency, citizen participation and service orientation in the provision of infrastructure.
“President Bachelet has identified infrastructure as critical for a more equitable and competitive Chile. The Ministry of Public Works will be vital to advancing the Government’s ambitious vision given its central role in the contracting, concessioning and execution of public works,” said van Trotsenburg. “These two loans will provide substantial support to the Ministry’s bold efforts to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of basic infrastructure services for Chile’s citizens and reduce logistics costs for local exporters,” he added.