WB to approve new strategy for Azerbaijan

By: Nigar Orujova

The World Bank plans to approve a new strategy of cooperation with Azerbaijan, which will cover a six-year period in May-June, head of WB Azerbaijan Larisa Leshchenko.

“Consultations with the Azerbaijani government on the priority areas of cooperation strategy is scheduled in April,” she said. Moreover, meetings are expected with representatives of various organizations involved in the work on the strategy after the Novruz holiday [March 20-27].

The current strategy of cooperation has been designed for 2011-2014. Despite the fact that the timing of its implementation has been completed in late June 2014, during the transition period, the bank continues to work on projects that will be financed by the World Bank.

She said, to date, Azerbaijan has mastered about 25-26 percent of the World Bank funds, which is quite a good indicator.

“Compared to other countries in the region, we have achieved very good results in Azerbaijan. Disbursement is progressing well,” Leshchenko said.

Projects implemented by the WB in the country are covering such areas as the development of road infrastructure, agriculture, water supply, social protection, registration of property rights, the development of the judicial system, etc.

In addition, she noted that the World Bank is currently working with the taxes ministry on stimulation of cashless payments.

The head of WB Azerbaijan has also touched the issue of change in the exchange rate of the manat, which devaluation against the dollar resulted to a drop in value of almost 34 percent.

“It was the right move, thereby increasing the competitiveness of the Azerbaijani economy in global markets, taking into account the fact that many countries in the region had a devaluation of the national currency,” Leshchenko stressed.

She added that the non-oil sector will benefit from the adjustment of the manat.

To date, the World Bank’s portfolio in Azerbaijan is about $ 2.7 billion. Azerbaijan is a member of the WB since 1992. The sum of loan agreements signed between Azerbaijan and the World Bank amounts to $ 4.086 billion.

SOURCE: Azer News