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PRESS RELEASE October 31, 2018

FYR Macedonia Celebrates 25 Years of World Bank Partnership

Continued Partnership Focuses on More Opportunities for People

SKOPJE, October 31, 2018 – The World Bank marked its 25th anniversary of working in the Former Yugoslav Republic (FYR) of Macedonia today, with visits from World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia, Cyril Muller and World Bank Director for the Western Balkans, Linda Van Gelder. The focus was on building a stronger future with a flagship International Conference on Fostering Economic Growth Through Human Capital Development in the Western Balkans, organized by FYR Macedonia’s Ministry of Finance.

The World Bank also acknowledged the country’s remarkable progress over the past three decades. Since 2000, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the country has grown from 3.7 billion to 10.7 billion, with 240,000 people moving out of poverty between 2009-2015 – expanding the middle class from 29% of the population to 40%. According to the World Bank’s latest economic report, growth in the country was forecast at 2.5% in 2018, before accelerating to 2.9% in 2019 and 3.2% in 2020.

“We are here today to recognize the achievements made over the last 25 years,” said Muller. “FYR Macedonia has delivered growth and prosperity – lifting people out of poverty, expanding the middle class, and creating more and better jobs and the World Bank is proud of this progress.”  

Since its first loan in 1993, the World Bank Group has invested more than $2 billion in FYR Macedonia, implementing 65 projects in energy, roads, agriculture, health, education, social policy, innovation, and skills. IFC, a member of the World Bank concentrating on the private sector, supported the improvements in investment climate and provided around $400 million in investments in 19 projects in the financial sector, energy, telecoms, pharmaceuticals, textiles, retail, manufacturing and automotive industry.

“The World Bank has remained a committed partner to the government of FYR Macedonia as it moves toward accession into the European Union – helping to increase living standards and reduce gaps in skills, education, and wealth,” says Linda Van Gelder.  “The challenge now is to build on the many successes to foster a dynamic private sector that can creating more jobs, provide more opportunities for more people, boost effective governance, and increasing the county’s resilience in the face of natural disasters.”

For more information on the World Bank’s work in FYR Macedonia please visit:






Anita Bozinovska
Kym Smithies