BUCHAREST, December 12, 2017— World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia Cyril Muller met with President Iohannis, Deputy Prime Minister Ciolacu and other senior members of the Government in Bucharest to discuss how the World Bank can help unlock Romania’s growth potential. Mr. Muller also travelled to Iasi to meet with Mayor Mihai Chirica as well as representatives from the private sector and civil society to learn about the city’s opportunities and challenges as one of the country’s most important education and research centers.
Mr. Muller’s visit takes place as the World Bank is finalizing a comprehensive analysis of Romania’s growth opportunities and constraints. The Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD), which was consulted closely with the Government and key stakeholders across the country, shows that Romania faces a set of challenges in unlocking more dynamic economic growth and ensuring that its benefits translate into greater prosperity for all Romanians, namely:
- Improving the quality of education and ensuring the skills of the labor force are competitive and respond to market demands;
- Enhancing the quality of healthcare services to improve quality of life, especially for the most vulnerable;
- Improving infrastructure to support private sector growth, facilitate trade and create more and better jobs.
In this context, the World Bank is partnering with the Government of Romania to ensure the transfer of global expertise in the design of the Ploiesti-Brasov highway, which could serve as a model for similar large road infrastructure projects across Romania.
“In my meetings in Bucharest and Iasi, I was impressed by the depth of Romania’s economic transformation and the level of private sector dynamism and ambition,” said Cyril Muller, World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia, "To continue on this trajectory and achieve long-term economic growth, Romania should ensure that every Romanian household has better access to basic public services, including education. In addition, the country should strengthen its readiness to respond to the risks of natural disasters, in particular earthquakes. As we move into a new Country Partnership Framework for 2018-23, the World Bank stands ready to work with Romania to build a stronger and more prosperous country."
The World Bank opened its office in Romania in 1991. Since then, the Bank has provided over US$11 billion in loans, guarantees and grants in all sectors of the Romanian economy. The Bank’s current portfolio includes investment lending, analytical work, and technical assistance to support Romania’s reform priorities. In 2016, the World Bank Group and Romania celebrated 25 years of partnership in supporting poverty reduction and inclusive growth.