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Zafer Mustafaoglu Appointed World Bank Country Director for the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei

MANILA, JULY 1, 2024— The World Bank has announced the appointment of economist Zafer Mustafaoglu as Country Director for the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei Darussalam, effective July 1, 2024.

Mustafaoglu, a Turkish national, will oversee the World Bank's program of support in the three countries, advancing the institution's policy dialogues with government officials, civil society, academia, the private sector, and other key stakeholders.

“I am deeply honored to assume the role of Country Director for the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei—countries that stand out as some of the most vibrant economies in the East Asia region, with significant achievements in economic transformation and poverty alleviation,” Mustafaoglu said. “I look forward to meeting our partners across government, the private sector, civil society, and academic institutions to deepen my understanding of the unique development challenges these countries face and to explore how the World Bank can further contribute to their progress.”

The World Bank’s engagements in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei Darussalam deploy advanced analytics, advisory services, and financing operations to support the countries' development agendas and are tailored to each country’s needs and priorities.

The World Bank has worked with the Philippines for over seventy years, providing enduring support for infrastructure and key sectors including agriculture, environment, social protection, water resources, disaster risk management, and climate change. The World Bank has also supported the government’s key economic policy and governance reforms, helped spur private sector growth, and is promoting peace and development in Mindanao (Southern Philippines).

In Malaysia, the World Bank Group Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Finance Hub supports the nation's development priorities through knowledge-based assistance. The Hub also capitalizes on Malaysia's development experiences and policy innovations to facilitate knowledge exchanges between Malaysia and low and middle-income countries that aspire to emulate Malaysia’s development success.

In Brunei Darussalam, the World Bank's work focuses on providing advice on key development priorities, such as climate change and support for small and medium-sized companies.

Mustafaoglu joined the World Bank in 2005. He has contributed to a variety of operations and research projects, encompassing a broad spectrum of macroeconomic and microeconomic policy issues.

Prior to his appointment, Mustafaoglu served as Practice Manager for Finance, Competitiveness, and Innovation in the East Asia and Pacific Region, overseeing operations in China, Mongolia, Korea, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Vietnam.

His most recent roles include serving as the Practice Manager for the Finance, Competitiveness, and Innovation Global Practice in the Latin America and the Caribbean Region, and as Lead Economist and Program Leader for Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

Mustafaoglu earned his Ph.D. in International Economics from the Middle East Technical University in Türkiye. He completed his master's degree and conducted research in economics at the University of Essex and Cambridge University, England.

Before joining the World Bank, Mustafaoglu for Turkish Government, where he served as the head of the Modeling and Economic Analysis Department at the Prime Ministry State Planning Organization.



In Manila
David Llorito
In Kuala Lumpur
Aizzat Nordin
In Washington
Mark Felsenthal
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