WASHINGTON, October 16, 2014 - The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors today discussed a new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for FYR Macedonia for 2015-2018. The new Partnership Strategy is based on the Government’s development priorities and the World Bank Group’s twin goals of reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity in a sustainable manner.
The new strategy builds on the strength of the partnership between FYR Macedonia and the World Bank Group, which has been a steadfast support to the country in its development and aspiration to join the European Union. The country has a solid track record of prudent macroeconomic management and has been able to maintain growth and increase employment in the face of the global crisis. The new CPS will support the country in achieving higher and more inclusive growth that translates into jobs and rising income for all segments of society.
The new CPS will make available up to US$400 million from the World Bank for the country for the four years of strategy implementation. Depending on market conditions, this could be supplemented by financing of US$80-100 million for four years from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and guarantees from the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).
The Country Partnership Strategy is defined around two pillars:
- Growth and Competitiveness – improvements in the business climate and the trade regime are essential to attract private investment and improve export performance in order to achieve sustained private sector led growth and job creation.
- Skills and Inclusion – interventions that increase skills and improve inclusion are crucial to ensure that all segments of society benefit from economic growth through greater employability and more efficient public and municipal services.
FYR Macedonia aspires to European Union (EU) membership, and the new World Bank Group Strategy will promote progress on the accession agenda as a cross-cutting theme. The strategy is consistent with the new EU Assistance Country Strategy Paper for 2014-2020, and World Bank resources will be used to complement and improve absorption of the EU’s Instrument of Pre-Accession (IPA) funds. Overall, the World Bank Group will support the Government with a full range of financial, knowledge, and convening services, and provide assistance in several sectors, such as transport, energy efficiency, public financial management, and social protection.
“Thanks to a strong track record of prudent management and structural reform the country has experienced solid growth, which is now increasing, and employment has begun to rise,” said Tatiana Proskuryakova, World Bank Country Manager for FYR Macedonia. “The challenge for the future is to build on this success and provide new opportunities to the poor and disadvantaged groups that have not as yet benefitted from economic growth as much as we would hope. The new World Bank Group strategy seeks to promote faster growth, but with better inclusion, so that all segments of society can benefit from job creation as the recovery accelerates.”
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will continue to partner with clients through investments and advisory services in strategic sectors crucial to the country’s long-term sustainable development.
“Further integration of the Macedonian economy into global production networks will accelerate its industry and trade competitiveness,” said Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Manager for the Western Balkans. “To achieve that objective, IFC will seek to make investments and provide advisory services to further improve collaboration between global and local partners and improve FYR Macedonia’s supply chain effectiveness.”
FYR Macedonia became a shareholder and member of IFC in 1993. Since then, IFC's total investment in FYR Macedonia has totaled US$397 million in 29 projects across a variety of sectors.
FYR Macedonia became a member of the World Bank in 1994. Since then, the World Bank invested US$1.7 billion in loans and grants through more than 40 operations, including investments in energy, roads, agriculture, health, social policy, innovation, skills, and other areas. The current World Bank investment portfolio consists of seven loans totaling US$369 million.