Meeting with World Bank Vice President Cyril Muller

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An efficient cooperation roadmap can be worked out by Belarus and the World Bank, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia Cyril Muller on 2 June.

“We should prepare a roadmap of future cooperation at the end of 2016. I think that we will do it on time, and that it will not be worse than the previous roadmaps,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The Belarusian President thanked the World Bank for the existing level of cooperation. “In the most difficult times the World Bank has been faithful to its style of work. We always managed to find common interests,” the head of state said.

In particular, Aleksandr Lukashenko mentioned the World Bank’s assistance in the financing of infrastructure projects such as the construction and renovation of roads, water treatment, minimization of the Chernobyl impact, household waste processing. “You helped us upgrade the forestry industry. This modernization started from your assistance. Today we have made big progress in import substitution in the forestry industry and are working in compliance with the highest standards,” the president said.

The head of state emphasized that a number of projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars are implemented today. “I should say that we are implementing these projects on time, but I have an impression that the progress in the implementation of certain projects is rather slow in Belarus. I would like you to tell us about our drawbacks, and we will definitely improve the situation,” the Belarusian leader said. “Your financing, especially in this situation, gives jobs to thousands of people and helps us build wonderful objects. Open and significant experience of cooperation with you is a kind of school for us. This meeting will help advance our relations.”

Cyril Muller, in turn, noted that it has been a great honor for the World Bank to provide assistance to Belarus in recent years. He thanked the Belarusian head of state for the positive evaluation of joint programs. “Indeed, we have reached significant positive results, accelerated and expanded joint programs. And we are going to move forward,” he said.

“We start to work out the strategy for the future. And I will be grateful to you if you outline key areas of focus for us,” the vice president of the World Bank added.

At the meeting the sides discussed concrete avenues of cooperation and important projects. The sides are prepared to do their best to advance cooperation to a brand-new level. In particular, the World Bank is ready to help Belarus raise the competitiveness of products, diversify and modernize production facilities. Plans have been made to pay special attention to the development of the transport infrastructure. An innovative project in this field is underway.

Another promising field of cooperation is the support of small and medium-sized businesses. As a result, Belarusian manufacturers will be able to penetrate new markets.

The sides are ready to continue productive cooperation in such traditional areas as the energy sector, education, healthcare, environmental protection. The meeting also focused on the development of the human potential. In this context, it was mentioned that justice is the main principle for Belarus and the World Bank. The economy should work for the benefit of people.

The World Bank is currently implementing a number of projects to the tune of almost $1 billion. In the period from 1992 to 2016, the World Bank’s investments made up about $1.5 billion.