By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
WB is pleased to cooperate with the Azerbaijani government in the implementation of many reforms, Mercy Tembon, Regional Director of the World Bank (WB) for the South Caucasus, told Trend.
She stated that there are reforms in the investment climate, in doing business which are regarded as key areas and they allowed Azerbaijan to make progress in the Doing Business ranking, which is about the time it takes to create business, the time it takes people to have access to licenses and access to electricity and all the things that will be necessary to make businesses function.
“Azerbaijan has done very well in this area. And its ranking in the Doing Business Report has gone up from 57th to 25th. Azerbaijan was ranked among the ten best reformed countries in the world,” Tembon stressed.
Then, she noted that WB is happy to observe the reforms in the financial sector.
“As you know, two years ago, the country went through a series of shocks related to the banking sector and about 11 banks fell. But the government has been able to put in place reforms that have regenerated the financial sector. And that is helping the economy to grow,” Tembon pointed out.
She further underlined investments and support provided by WB in major areas such as agriculture, transport, human development, health, education.
Moreover, she added that there are investments directed to women and people in the rural areas like women entrepreneurships, so that people can begin to create income for themselves, and live a better life.
“The level of poverty has dramatically gone down. We are very happy that few remaining people, who are still below the poverty line, will be lifted out of poverty,” Tembon said.
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.
It’s noteworthy that WB has maintained the forecast of GDP growth in Azerbaijan in 2019 at the level of 3.3 percent, based on the Bank's June report “Global Economic Prospects”.
According to the report, WB confirmed the acceleration of GDP growth in Azerbaijan in 2020 to 3.5 percent, and to 3.7 percent in 2021.
Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1
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