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World Bank Vice President to Visit Azerbaijan

September 12, 2010

World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia, Mr.  Philippe Le Houérou, will travel to Azerbaijan from September 13 to 15. The aim of his visit is to familiarize himself with recent economic and social developments in Azerbaijan and to discuss with the country’s leadership, senior government officials, development partners, business community, and civil society the possible ways in which the World Bank can support sustainable economic growth and diversification, and human capital development in the country.

“I am pleased to note that Azerbaijan has experienced unprecedented growth over the past few years which have led to a significant drop in poverty”, said Philippe Le Houérou.  “The challenge now is to diversify the economy and promote non-oil exports so that Azerbaijan can progress to becoming a strong, upper middle-income country in the medium term."

While in Azerbaijan, Mr. Le Houérou will meet with H.E. President Ilham Aliyev and senior Government officials and visit two projects supported by the World Bank – the Pension and Social Protection Project and the Judicial Modernization Project.

The World Bank presently finances 20 projects with commitments valued at around US$ 2 billion covering investments in transport, water and sanitation, agriculture and irrigation, health and education among others.

“The World Bank’s proposed new Country Partnership Strategy for Azerbaijan for 2011-2014 is expected to provide significant additional resources and advisory services to build a competitive non-oil economy and provide more effective social and municipal services,” said Mr. Joseph Owen, the recently appointed World Bank Country Manager for Azerbaijan.