Saturday, December 15, 2007


SOFIA, Bulgaria (December 15,2007) - “The World Bank will commit at least $200 million in lending for projects in Bosnia in the four years starting in fiscal year 2008 as part of its new strategy for the Southeastern country, the Bank’s Country Manager for Bosnia, Marco Mantovanelli, said.

Mantovanelli said in a recent interview on the sidelines of the 10th CEI Summit Economic Forum, organized by the Central European Initiative and Bulgaria Economic Forum in the Bulgarian capital Sofia that the World Bank’s new strategy for Bosnia had two main strategic pillars - improving the efficiency of government spending and creating better business environment and conditions for growth.

"Now Bosnia is three times above the income per capita level for International Development Association (IDA) funds.In the next cycle of the assistance strategy, Bosnia will gravitate to the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). This means it will still have access to IDA funds in the next four years but they will gradually decrease and the IBRD will kick in,’ Mantovanelli said.

"There is still a long way to go before there is a fully coordinated fiscal approach,’ Mantovanelli said.He also said there were problems in Bosnia regarding labor mobility, which is linked to social transfers.

‘Right now there are cases of people who live in one of the two autonomous regions and earn social benefits on the other side - this creates obstacles to labor mobility,’ Mantovanelli said.

He said the World Bank was ready to support those reforms as long as Bosnian leaders show commitment to implement the October declaration.”

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