World Bank and Government of FYR Macedonia Discuss New Country Partnership Strategy

March 16, 2010

SKOPJE, March 16, 2010―The Government of FYR Macedonia and the World Bank have agreed on the basic direction of the new four-year Country Partnership Strategy, which will focus on ‘green’ and inclusive growth in support of EU accession and post-crisis recovery. 
The Strategy was announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski, and World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia region, Philippe Le Houérou, and Ms. Jane Armitage, World Bank Country Director and Regional Coordinator for South East Europe, during their visit to FYR Macedonia, March 12-16, 2010.
According to Stavreski, the reform agenda discussed would improve country competitiveness, including in the energy sector, and specifically in the area of clean and renewable energy. 
The World Bank has the knowledge and the financial resources to provide assistance,” said Deputy Prime Minister Stavreski. “What we have discussed today will lead to, among others, projects related to regional electricity transmission lines as well as clean energy sources.”
According to Stavreski, the exact the amount of assistance still needs to be determined, most probably during discussions at the World Bank and IMF Spring Meetings in April 2010, where the Bank’s capital increase will be one of the most important topics.
Stavreski stated that, “The World Bank proved to be a loyal and dedicated partner over the past 17 years, and made an exceptional contribution to the country’s transition and development by providing strong financial and advisory support.  In order for the World Bank to continue playing such an important role in my own country and the whole region, it is crucially important that an appropriate capital increase is secured.”
Le Houérou complimented the Government for having weathered the economic crisis better than many countries in the region, with a relatively modest reduction of GDP and keeping macro aggregates under control. 
I believe one of the lessons learned on why the country was not that strongly hit by the crisis,” said World Bank Vice President Le Houérou, “is that the macro management was quite strong.  I say this because, looking forward, the country will need to continue solid macro management.”
During his visit, World Bank Vice President Le Houérou met with President Gjorge Ivanov, Central Bank Governor Petar Gosev, and international partners.  Le Houérou also visited two Roma families and had a meeting with Roma students who have benefited from scholarships offered through the World Bank-supported Roma Education Fund.

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