Statement on the Occasion of the Visit of the World Bank Country Director for the Western Balkans

June 28, 2013

BELGRADE, Jun 28, 2013 - The Country Director of the World Bank for the Western Balkans, Ms. Ellen Goldstein, paid a short visit to Belgrade yesterday  to express her strong support for the ongoing efforts made by the current government to reform Serbia's public enterprise sector and to re-iterate her commitment to help secure technical and financial support from the Institution for implementation of the program.

Ms. Goldstein praised the quality of the detailed action plan prepared by the Ministry of Finance and Economy to deal with 179 non-private companies which have been in the Privatization Agency portfolio for many years, and was delighted to hear that this plan has now been officially endorsed by the Government. She complemented the Government on its commitment to move forward boldly with these long delayed reforms.

The World Bank shares the Government's views that this is a key structural reform component of any meaningful economic recovery and fiscal adjustment program. She stressed that this effort is critically important to address imbalances in the public finances, a necessary condition to unleash higher growth potential and reduce unemployment sustainably.

Ms. Goldstein confirmed that the World Bank will be happy to continue working with the Ministry of Finance and Economy and other relevant Government entities to support further improvement in the legal framework necessary to implement this action plan, in line with best international standards.

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