SOFIA, October 25, 2012 – The Bulgarian Government has signed today a new advisory service agreement with the World Bank to provide support in the roads sector in seven areas, including ideas for road assets management, maintenance and planning, roads safety monitoring and evaluation, and improvement of traffic. The agreement was signed by Lazar Lazarov, Chairman of the Management Board of the Roads Infrastructure Agency and the World Bank Regional Director for Central Europe and Baltic Countries Peter Harrold. Bulgarian Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Liliyana Pavlova and Minister of EU Funds Management Tomislav Donchev attended the public signing ceremony.
The roads sector advisory service agreement was developed under the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Government of Bulgaria and the World Bank on partnership and support in the implementation of the EU Structural Instruments, signed in January this year. It is part of a mechanism that allows the Government to draw on EU Funds to cover the costs of knowledge and advisory services of the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and the World Bank.
“The World Bank has been partnering with Bulgaria over the last 20 years and we are glad to see how the government was able to translate its commitment to roads infrastructure into many kilometers of new roads and highways. Through our new partnership we will be glad to contribute with knowledge and ideas on how to make the best use of the assets developed and to develop new infrastructure”, the World Bank Regional Director for Central Europe and Baltic Countries Peter Harrold said.
“The ultimate goal of the government infrastructure program is not to build and maintain assets utilizing the existing EU funding. We believe that the new infrastructure contributes to the quality of life of every Bulgarian and should be maintained and developed in a sustainable way. That is why the advisory role of the World Bank is important for us, because we need clear plans and good ideas on how to reap the benefits of the new roads and how to continue upgrading infrastructure while spending efficiently”, Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Liliyana Pavlova emphasized after the signing.
The service agreement is the third one that the Government of Bulgaria signs with the World Bank. The first two agreements - for provision of advisory services in development of the National Strategy for Water Supply and Sanitation (WSS), and the “Smart Specialization Strategy” for Innovation – were signed at the end of July, 2012. These advisory agreements are the first concrete steps in the implementation of the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Bulgaria, endorsed by the Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank a year ago. The CPS commits knowledge support for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in Bulgaria in line with Europe 2020 agenda.