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World Bank Continuing Discussions On Belarus Mid-Term Reform Challenges

September 17, 2010

On September 13-17, Mr. Martin Raiser, World Bank Country Director for Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova visited Belarus to continue the dialogue with the country authorities and policymakers on the socio-economic situation, structural reform priorities, and ways the World Bank can support the country’s recovery and growth.

Mr. Raiser, accompanied by a group of economists and private sector development specialists held discussions with Mr. Andrey Kobyakov, Deputy Prime-Minister, the World Bank’ Governor, and members of the Cabinet of Ministers, Mr. Pietr Prokopovich, NBRB Governor, and Mr. Leonid Anfimov, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration, representatives of civil society, the local private sector, donors and the diplomatic community. While in Belarus, the World Bank’s team also traveled to Brest, met the Oblast’s leadership, and visited enterprises in the Brest Free Economic Zone.

At a briefing for mass-media representatives Mr. Raiser commented on the key reform challenges facing the country, highlighting that the next phase of economic growth would need to rely far more on the dynamism of private entrepreneurship and that economic modernization would require a significant boost to Foreign Direct Investment to bring new technologies and access to new markets. 

Mr. Raiser emphasized that, “Belarus needs to embrace structural reforms to put the economy on sustainable path. Our partners from the Government understand this challenge and are now working on a new five year plan which is expected to deepen the process of economic liberalization. This is an opportunity for the World Bank to share its experience and we are committed to continuing our intensive dialogue on economic modernization with the authorities and all stakeholders in Belarus.”

The World Bank's current Country Assistance Strategy (2008-2011) is entering into its final year. In addition to intensive analytical and technical assistance, the World Bank will continue to provide financing to upgrade Belarus social and economic infrastructure. Additional financing for a Post-Chernobyl Recovery Project and a Road Upgrading and Modernization Project are in the final stages of preparation.