Government of Turkey and The World Bank Hold Annual Joint Portfolio Performance Review Meeting

November 9, 2007

Ankara, November 9, 2007—The Undersecretariat of Treasury, the Undersecretariat of the State Planning Organization, Turkish Government officials from various Ministries and Agencies, and the World Bank’s Turkey Country Office met on November 6, 2007 to review the key findings of the annual Joint Portfolio Performance Review (JPPR) The annual JPPR is the result of a continuous dialogue among all key stakeholders in Turkey and the World Bank. The senior-level meeting took place as the Government and the World Bank are taking up discussions to finalize the World Bank Group’s new Country Partnership Strategy with Turkey.

The meeting opened with the remarks of the Undersecretary of the Treasury, Mr. Ibrahim Çanakcı; the Undersecretary of the State Planning Organization, Mr. Ahmet Tıktık; and the Country Director of the World Bank, Mr. Ulrich Zachau. Discussions during the day focused on the development results of Turkey’s ongoing programs and projects that the World Bank helps finance. Key achievements with the support of the World Bank include the rehabilitation and reconstruction of about 600 schools; 2.6 million families benefitting through conditional cash transfers; significant export growth of participating firms through export finance credit lines; and support to an earthquake insurance program with 2.5 million policies issued so far. Participants in the meeting identified good practices in project design and implementation and lessons learned for strengthening the impact of programs and projects on improving the lives of people in Turkey.

In his opening remarks Mr. Zachau highlighted: “The World Bank’s role is serving Turkey by helping the country realize its development objectives and improve the lives of Turkish people.” Zachau stated: “Serving Turkey means supporting projects and programs that help create more and better jobs, give more people a better education; secure a reliable energy supply and doing so flexibly and rapidly”. Undersecretary Ahmet Tıktık in his remarks stressed the importance of Turkish government agencies' ownership, leadership, and initiative while implementing projects that are financed by the World Bank. “Cooperation between line agencies is important while implementing a project, as well as the Monitoring and Evaluation done at the end of the project cycle for us to learn from successes and failures”. Undersecretary Çanakcı in his remarks shed light on the history of relations between the Government of Turkey and the World Bank and stated: “Turkish Government is eager to continue working closely with the Bank under the new Country Partnership Strategy, which is to be based on Turkey’s 9th Development Program. The Strategy will be clustered around improved competitiveness and employment, equitable human and social development, and efficient provision of high-quality public services, with emphasis on the reduction of regional differences. We look forward to a strong program under the Strategy.”

The Review meeting continued with Implementing Agencies’ evaluation of project implementation, lessons learned, and expectation for the new Country Partnership Strategy. It closed with a plenary discussion summarizing the main findings of the day, including the areas and opportunities for further partnership. The discussion between the Government of Turkey and the Bank for the upcoming four year period (FY08-11) Country Partnership Strategy will continue for another week.

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