Regional Director for Central Europe and the Baltic Countries discusses shared prosperity with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov
SOFIA, January 23, 2015 – World Bank Regional Director for Central Europe and the Baltic Countries, Mamta Murthi, visited Bulgaria this week to discuss with the government, parliament and other stakeholders how can Bulgaria turn the tide and promote growth and shared prosperity in the context of the preparation of the Bulgaria Systematic Country Diagnostic report.
According to World Bank Group’s Global Economic Prospects (GEP) report, released a week ago, growth in the Europe and Central Asia region is estimated to have slowed to a lower-than-expected 2.4 percent in 2014 as a sputtering recovery in the Euro Area and stagnation in Russia posed headwinds. The 2015 forecast for Bulgaria is for 1.1 percent growth, which is lower than the estimated 1.4 percent in 2014.
The World Bank is now preparing the Bulgaria Systematic Country Diagnostic report, which analyses economic challenges facing the country, and ways to achieve faster and inclusive growth that would benefit the whole population, with special focus on the less wealthy 40 percent of Bulgarians.
Preliminary findings of the report show that faster growth is possible with an improved business environment, better transport infrastructure, and a labor force with adequate skills. Parallel to this, inclusive growth requires more mobility and economic participation of the bottom 40 percent of the population, as well as more effective health care, social safety net, and pension systems. Sustainable growth could be achieved by safeguarding macroeconomic stability, but mainly by ensuring social stability in the country.