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PRESS RELEASE

The World Bank Approves a New Strategy Which Strengthens its Partnership with the Kingdom of Morocco and Commits US 200 Million Dollars to Expand Access to Financial Services in the Country

January 26, 2010




Rabat, January 26, 2010 – The World Bank Board of Directors discussed a new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for the Kingdom of Morocco covering the next four years (2010-2013).

The CPS is a flexible partnership framework that defines the support that the World Bank and the International Financial Corporation provide to Morocco.

The new strategy proposes three thematic pillars aligned with the development priorities of the country: (i) enhance growth, competitiveness and employment; (ii) improve service delivery to citizens; and (iii) ensure environmental sustainability in the context of a changing climate. It also proposes two cross-cutting “beams”-- governance and territoriality.

The CPS ensures continuity in the World Bank Group’s support to Morocco, and lays out opportunities for scaling up and expanding engagement to new areas. In addition to consolidating the 2005-2009 Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) strategic objectives, the CPS pledges selectivity in the institution’s engagement, and focuses the partnership program on activities where the World Bank Group can bring value added, particularly as regards addressing structural constraints and long term challenges.

The CPS preparation involved extensive consultations with different Civil Society Organizations, youth, academics, private sector representatives, development partners and other stakeholders. These consultations enabled a direct and candid exchange of views and a fine-tuning of the diagnosis in terms of opportunities and constraints.

During the Board’s meeting, Executive Directors emphasized the importance of the ongoing reform process in the country and commended the Government for the successful macroeconomic policy, public debt management and structural reforms carried out over the past years. The Directors endorsed accelerating growth, job creation and competitiveness as Morocco’s development priorities, while stressing the need for the country to reinforce urgently the results in health, education and social protection.

“This CPS witnesses the solid partnership between the Government of Morocco and the World Bank Group. We are committed to accompany Morocco on its reform process, to support the country’s development agenda and to make available  the World Bank Group’s knowledge, international experience and best practices to the benefit of the whole country”, said  M. Mats Karlsson, World Bank Country Director for Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Libya and Malta.

The CPS proposes a lending program of US 600 million dollars per year. This complements the World Bank’s technical assistance and knowledge transfer activities in Morocco, the core of the World Bank’s program in the country. The International Finance Corporation will focus its advisory and investment support on infrastructure and the financial sector as priorities.

Together with the CPS approval, the Board of Directors approved a US 200 million Development Policy Loan (DPL), to improve access to financial services in Morocco. Through financial and technical support, this DPL aims to accompany the Government’s efforts to enlarge further the access of households and small and medium enterprises to finance, while ensuring the stability of the financial system. Special attention will be given to the financial regulations and supervision, and to effective risk management.

This project is in line with the new Country Partnership Strategy (2010-2013) and will particularly contribute to enhancing the growth and competitiveness of the Moroccan Economy.

“Morocco has undertaken several conclusive and sound political, economic and social reforms, that have enabled the country to achieve greater growth, poverty reduction, regional and international integration. The financial sector in Morocco, one of the best performing in the Middle East and North Africa Region, has proved resilient to external shocks. Through this DPL, new reforms will be launched and will expand access to financial services by people and firms and reinforce the sector’s performance.”, added M. Mats Karlsson.

For more information on the Country Partnership Strategy and on the World Bank activities in Morocco, please visit: www.worldbank.org/ma

 

Media Contacts
In Rabat
Anwar Soulami
Tel : (212-37) 63 60 50
asoulami@worldbank.org
In Washington
Najat Yamouri
Tel : 1-(202) 458-1340
nyamouri@worldbank.org

PRESS RELEASE NO:
2010/248/MENA

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