BANGKOK, November 5, 2018 – Birgit Hansl, a German national with 24 years’ experience in economic policy and public sector management, has been appointed the new Country Manager for the World Bank in Thailand.
Prior to the appointment, Ms. Hansl was Program Leader and Lead Economist for the World Bank’s lending and analytical services related to equitable growth, finance and institutions in Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand. In this capacity, she led the Bank’s support to fiscal reforms, financial sector development, business climate improvement, and digital economy transformation, as well as competition policy strengthening, and trade and customs modernization. She also supported Mindanao, a fragile and conflict-affected area in the Philippines’ south, by developing a strategy for regional development.
“I am honored to be given this opportunity to work with the Thai government and its people as the country continues to strive towards an innovative, inclusive, and sustainable economy,” said Ms. Hansl. “Thailand is a great development success story with an impressive record of significantly reducing extreme poverty. I look forward to deepening our partnership with the Thai people and other development partners to promote shared prosperity and inclusive growth for all.”
Ms. Hansl joined the Bank in 2005 as a Young Professional. Since then, she has led many analytical and lending operations in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe. She also worked as the Moscow-based Program Leader and Lead Economist for the Russian Federation.
“As an upper-middle income country and a leading economy within ASEAN, Thailand is a valued member of the World Bank Group,” said Ms. Mara Warwick, Country Director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand. “Through policy dialogue, technical assistance, and implementation support, we stand ready to support Thailand in achieving its vision of high-income status and promoting regional cooperation as Thailand assumes the 2019 ASEAN chairmanship.”
Ms. Hansl holds a Ph.D. and a Master of Arts degree in Economics from the London School of Economics. She completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of California San Francisco and Berkeley.
The World Bank has been a development partner of Thailand since 1949. The first loans helped improve Thailand’s transportation systems – including railways, ports, and highways – and financed irrigation projects that benefited farming families. Over the past 69 years, the World Bank has supported projects in education, agriculture, telecommunications, infrastructure, water resource management, energy, public sector development, and health. Today, the relationship has evolved from borrower-lender to knowledge partners around substantive economic policy dialogue. Engagement in Thailand evolves around analytical services on issues as diverse as sustained high economic growth, community development and peace-building in the Deep South, climate change, and private sector investments.