WASHINGTON, October 21, 2010 – The World Bank Group’s Board of Directors today discussed a new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) with FYR Macedonia for 2011-2014. The Partnership Strategy provides the framework for the World Bank Group’s assistance to the country and is fully aligned with the country’s priorities. It is grounded on a broad and continuous dialogue with the Government and consultations with key stakeholders and development partners.
The new four-year CPS envisages financing of approximately $100 million for the first two years. The lending program for the latter two years of the CPS will be discussed with the authorities closer to the time of the CPS mid-term review. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) expects to provide financing to the private sector of up to $100 million during the CPS period.
“The country achieved remarkable progress over the past decade, making an impressive leap from conflict to an EU candidate. However, it now faces a more difficult external environment on its development path,” said Lilia Burunciuc, World Bank Country Manager in FYR Macedonia. “The new Country Partnership Strategy aims to accompany the Government during these difficult times with financial and knowledge advisory services that will support faster, more inclusive and greener economic growth.”
Future assistance will be directed to support EU accession and will seek to leverage financing and expertise from within the World Bank Group and across FYR Macedonia’s development partners.
It will specifically focus on:
- Faster growth by improving competitiveness. FYR Macedonia can build on improvements in the business climate through continued sound macroeconomic management, further efforts to reduce bottlenecks in the business environment and infrastructure, and stepped-up investments in education, including higher education.
- More inclusive growth by strengthening employability and social protection. The CPS will emphasize continued improvement of social programs amid growing fiscal constraints.
- Greener growth through more sustainable resource use. Key Bank Group interventions will include “win-win” investments in clean and efficient energy. As this is an emerging area of knowledge and new subject of dialogue with the Government, the Bank will also collaborate with selected partners of FYR Macedonia on analysis on “green growth” and climate change to support adaptation and other climate sensitive policymaking.
The new partnership strategy builds on successful collaboration between the World Bank Group and FYR Macedonia that has brought some tangible results to date:
- Investments in business environment have helped FYR Macedonia to notably improve its Doing Business ranking, from the 83rd position out of 125 in 2006 to the 32nd position out of 185 in 2009.
- Assistance with cadastre reforms has made the land registration system more efficient. This resulted in a drastic reduction of the period for transaction registration (70 % of all transactions are registered in one day and 30 % between 3-8 days), a steep increase in the number of registered transactions (93,240 in 2009 compared to 42,116 in 2005), and in doubling of the number of annual mortgages registered in the land administration system from 3,000 in 2005 to more than 6,000 in 2009.
- Investments in education resulted in increasing the secondary school enrollment to 95 %, up from 85 % between 2004 and 2008, and decreasing the dropout rate to 1.9 % from 2.1 % during the same period.
- Investments in the power sector have helped MEPSO (the public electric power transmission company) to increase the capacity of the transmission network through completion of the power transmission line to Greece, and restoring 38 transformer stations throughout the country.
FYR Macedonia became a member of the World Bank in 1994. Since then, the World Bank invested $1.061 billion in FYR Macedonia through 23 IDA credits and 29 IBRD loans. The World Bank also leveraged around $180 million in grant funding. Currently, the World Bank has an active portfolio of 14 projects in social protection, health, education, business environment, energy, agriculture, municipal services, and transport that are helping FYR Macedonia to achieve sustainable economic and social development and pave the way for European integration.