By Leman Mammadova
The financial and technical support provided by the World Bank (WB) played an important role in the development of infrastructure, agriculture, transport and other spheres in Azerbaijan. The sides expect successful continuation of this cooperation in the coming years.
Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev has met with Mercy Tembon, who has completed her tenure as Regional Director of the WB for the South Caucasus, and Sebastian Molineus, WB’s newly appointed Regional Director for the South Caucasus.
Emphasizing efficient cooperation with Tembon, the minister wished her success in her future activities. Mustafayev also congratulated Molineus on his new appointment and expressed confidence that the future collaboration will be successful.
Mustafayev noted that Azerbaijan attaches great importance to cooperation with the WB, adding that the Bank’s technical assistance and financial support are highly appreciated by Azerbaijan.
“Azerbaijan is closely cooperating with the WB. The introduction of advanced international experience in projects, bringing modern technology and innovations to our country are important,” he said.
He further pointed out that in total, the Bank allocated loans to 54 projects in Azerbaijan, 48 of which have been completed and 6 are underway.
The minister also mentioned that the relations between Azerbaijan and the WB are diverse. A number of projects have been successfully implemented by the Bank, including the "Integrated Solid Waste Management" project, which has been awarded by WB.
At the same time, Mustafayev gave information about measures taken in Azerbaijan in the direction of development of economy, including the non-oil sector, diversification of economy, development of private sector, expansion of export, promotion of investments and further improvement of business environment.
In turn, Mercy Tembon expressed her gratitude for the fruitful cooperation and satisfaction with the cooperation with Azerbaijan. She stressed that during the period of cooperation Azerbaijan has changed and developed significantly.
“It is pleasing to see Azerbaijan’s progress in the Doing Business report and WB highly appreciates these achievements,” she noted.
Molineus, in turn, noted that he is ready to share experience in business environment, innovation and entrepreneurship development, and stressed WB's support for economic reforms conducted in Azerbaijan.
The sides also exchanged views on future cooperation and discussed issues of mutual interest in a number of spheres.
Azerbaijan has been cooperating with the World Bank since September 1992. The Bank's local representative office in Azerbaijan was opened in 2016.
WB cooperates with Azerbaijan within the Country Partnership Strategy. The Bank’s Country Partnership Strategy for 2016-2020 for Azerbaijan aims to support the country on its path to sustainable, inclusive, and private sector-led growth. The program mainly focuses on the public sector management and service delivery, and economic competitiveness.
Over the past years, the Bank allocated loans for the implementation of over 50 projects in the country worth over $3 billion. Besides the loans, WB allocated 45 grants to Azerbaijan totaling $41.57 million in 1995-2014.
The Bank mainly focuses on development of the non-oil sector of Azerbaijan's economy. Today, WB supports such areas as agriculture, healthcare, support for the development of rural areas, projects for the reconstruction of main roads, as well as the implementation of the e-court system in Azerbaijan.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz