New WB Caribbean Director to Visit the Dominican Republic

October 21, 2013

SANTO DOMINGO, October 21, 2013 –  Sophie Sirtaine, the recently appointed Director of the World Bank Group for the Caribbean Region, is in the Dominican Republic until Wednesday (October 23rd) to meet with government officials and to discuss the prospects for development and how the World Bank can contribute to the plans of the State towards the eradication of extreme poverty and the promotion of shared prosperity, as part of the upcoming partnership strategy of the World Bank Group with the Dominican Republic.

Ms. Sirtaine will meet with private sector and civil society stakeholders to discuss social and economic issues of relevance, and will be accompanied by  McDonald Benjamin, World Bank Country Representative, and Ary Naim, the International Finance Corporation representative to Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

During her visit, a Social Audit Project, supported by a $727,000 World Bank grant to an alliance of civil society organizations led by Intermon-Oxfam, will be signed as well.

Furthermore, there will be a public function to subscribe a cooperation agreement between the World Bank Group and the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development (MEPYD), to implement reforms that will contribute to improve the Doing Business indicators identified in the public-private dialogue promoted by the Dominican Republic Chapter of the Caribbean Growth Forum. Sirtaine confirmed that the World Bank is helping the country identify key areas which, in the short and medium term, will result in significant improvements in the business climate and competitiveness of Dominican exports.

Sophie Sirtaine was recently appointed by Hasan Tuluy, the World Bank Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean. In her role as Director for the Caribbean, she will be responsible for 14 countries, including the Dominican Republic and for maintaining a solid partnership with the governments of the Caribbean countries to address their development and financial challenges. She also heads the World Bank support program and oversees the management of its offices in the region.

Sirtaine, a Belgian national, has over fourteen years of experience in the World Bank in various capacities in Latin America and the Caribbean, South Asia, Europe and Central Asia. During that period, she gained extensive experience in Bank operations and led the Bank response unit to the global financial crisis of 2008 - 2009 in various countries of the European Union. Her most recent position was as Director of the Corporate Reform and Strategy Department in Operations, Policy and Country Services.

Sirtaine has a commercial engineering degree with a major in finance from the Université Libre de Bruxelles and a master in economics from the London School of Economics. She replaces Françoise Clottes, who was appointed as Country Director in Sri Lanka and the Maldives in early August.

During her visit to the Dominican Republic, which follows the annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington, Sirtaine will exchange views on major strategic issues, and is confident that the World Bank Group will continue to efficiently support Dominicans towards their continued development with greater equity, social cohesion and inclusion.


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