The World Bank reaffirms support for Romania's reform agenda

January 20, 2010

BUCHAREST, January 20, 2010 - Theodore Ahlers, the World Bank’s Operations Director for Europe and Central Asia, visited Romania during January 18-19, 2009, to meet with the Romanian authorities on the occasion of the arrival of the new Country Manager in Romania, Francois Rantrua.

During the visit, the World Bank delegation had meetings with the President of România, Traian Băsescu, Prime Minister Emil Boc, Minister of Public Finance, Sebastian Vlădescu, the Governor of the National Bank of Romania, Mugur Isărescu, along with various ministers, and leaders of the main parliamentary parties. The discussions highlighted the critical importance of continued structural reforms to establish fiscal sustainability and restore economic growth, and the shared commitment to develop the Bank’s partnership with Romania.

“The World Bank continues to fully support Romania in its efforts to deal with the economic and financial crisis in close cooperation with the European Commission and the IMF, and also to advance the reform program for sustainable and equitable growth in the medium term,” said Theodore Ahlers upon concluding the visit. “Romania has made significant progress notwithstanding the challenging international and internal conditions.  Our Romania Country Team looks forward to providing further assistance and technical advice based on Romania’s needs.”

“First let me say that as a European I am very pleased to work in Romania and to help the country address its European convergence agenda.  I am convinced that the World Bank can financially and technically support Romania during the crisis but can also develop a partnership with the Government and other stakeholders to help implement necessary reforms and boost sustainable and equitable growth,” said Francois Rantrua, the World Bank’s new Country Manager for Romania. “In order to build such a partnership we need to work closely with the Government and partners to strategically identify Romania’s priorities where the World Bank has a comparative advantage and to then quickly mobilize the best expertise and the ideal financing mechanism,” he added at the end of his introductory meetings with the Romanian authorities.

The Bank has played a significant role in supporting Romania's transition up to EU accession, both in terms of its financial and intellectual contribution to the reform efforts. Between 1991 and 2009, the World Bank supported a total of 55 operations in Romania, with a total commitment of about US$6 billion.  Currently Romania’s World Bank financed portfolio consists of 13 active projects, with a corresponding net commitment of US$ 1.13 billion, and several analytical and advisory activities.

The most recent operation, the first Development Policy Loan (Euro 300 million) in a series of three totaling Euro 1 billion was approved by the Board of the World Bank on July 16, 2009, signed on September 1, 2009, and disbursed on October 20, 2009. The Development Policy Loans (DPL) focus on public financial management, the social sectors and the financial sector.  The DPL reform agenda supports policy measures and structural reforms to achieve fiscal sustainability in Romania and uphold the recovery process. It closely complements programs supported by the IMF and the EU.

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