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World Bank to invest over $500m in projects in Belarus in 2018-2022

Economy 20.02.2018 | 11:15

MINSK, 20 February (BelTA) - The World Bank is planning to earmark more than $500 million for projects in Belarus by the year-end of 2022, Franciscus Godts, Executive Director at the Board of the World Bank Group, told the media after the meeting with Belarus' Economy Minister Vladimir Zinovsky, BelTA has learned.

“The Board of Executive Directors will review the framework partnership strategy for Belarus for the next 4-5 years, for the period from 2018 to 2022. This program is worth more than $500 million. It will include the projects aimed at achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” he said. The World Bank is set to review the framework strategy for Belarus for 2018-2022 on 27 March.

The World Bank representative noted that cooperation with Belarus has been developing rapidly in recent years. “We are currently implementing a big program and various projects in energy, education, and other sectors. Another area of work is the private sector. The World Bank Group comprises different organizations, including the International Finance Corporation. The organization assists the private sector, the development of which is of vital significance, as it promotes employment,” he stressed.

Franciscus Godts said that during a meeting with Vladimir Zinovsky they discussed several issues, including the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. He recalled that he is on a visit in Belarus to attend the regional forum of national coordinators for the Sustainable Development Goals of the countries of Europe and the CIS due in Minsk on 21-22 February. “I think that this event is very important for you because Belarus will be able to lay out its position on the ways of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and talk about the efforts the country is making in this areas,” he said.

Vladimir Zinovsky also noted the importance of the discussion of such topics as achieving the SDGs. “The forum is a very important event, especially for the Economy Ministry which is responsible for the social and economic development program of Belarus. The country is fully committed to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Agenda for the period up to 2030,” the minister said. He noted that as part of the work to draw up one of the country's most important documents, namely the sustainable development strategy up to 2035, the government plans to achieve 17 goals on the economic, social and environmental agenda of the United Nations,” the minister said. Vladimir Zinovsky emphasized that the UN ideology of sustainability will be a common thread of all the country's policy documents starting this year.

“I want to emphasize that the World Bank Group makes a huge contribution to the efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. “You provide financial support to a number of countries in the implementation of the investment projects aimed at achieving the SDGs. We appreciate your support of several projects in Belarus,” the economy minister said. Vladimir Zinovsky emphasized that the Belarusian government hopes that the World Bank will further expand its activities in Belarus, including in such areas as health and education. “On behalf of the Economy Ministry I would like to assure you that we will spare no effort to consolidate the recent positive trends in our joint work,” he stated.

Among the member countries of the World Bank are 189 states that govern the World Bank through the Board of Governors. The Board of Governors holds annual meetings to take decisions on the bank's operation. The Board of Governors delegates a part of its functions to the Board of Directors (for instance, the adoption of decisions on investment project financing). These bodies take all the major decisions within the organizations.

Belarus joined the World Bank in 1992. Belarus is represented in the Board of Governors by First Deputy Prime Minister Vasily Matyushevsky and Economy Minister Vladimir Zinovsky. In the Board of Directors Belarus makes part of the group that includes Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey. Franciscus Godts took the post of Executive Director at the Board of the World Bank Group on 1 November 2014.

Since the Republic of Belarus joined the World Bank in 1992, lending commitments to the country have totaled $1.7 billion. As of 1 February 2018, the World Bank's active investment portfolio in Belarus includes eight projects worth a total of $775.8 million and two grants worth of $7.3 million.

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