World Bank to increase current project funding for Belarus

GMT 22:26 2016 Friday ,29 April

Arab Today, arab today World Bank to increase current project funding for Belarus

World Bank
Minsk - XINHUA

The investment portfolio of the World Bank's current projects in Belarus may increase to 1.2 billion US dollars in 2017, an expert of the bank has said.

The World Bank has considerably increased the portfolio of its projects in Belarus in recent years, Young Chul Kim, the bank's country manager for Belarus, said here Thursday.

Ten projects worth 998 million dollars are being implemented this year in Belarus with assistance from the bank, doubling that of two years ago, he said.

"If we can demonstrate to shareholders that Belarus can use up money fast, it will give a reason to talk about giving more World Bank funds to Belarus," he added, saying the country was obviously ready to carry out structural reforms meant to improve the economic situation.

Kim expressed confidence that progress in the area of structural reforms can improve Belarus' prospects in the medium term.

However, he said, an immediate resumption of the country's growth rate is highly unlikely due to the weak diversification of products and target markets.

Earlier, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said his country's great investment potential lies in cooperation with international financial organizations, which "opens the door to many large investors."

He demanded a quick removal of all legal obstacles for investment in the Belarusian economy from international financial organizations.

On April 18, the National Statistics Committee of Belarus said the country's GDP shrank by 3.6 percent in the first quarter of 2016.

In face of an economic downturn, the country has implemented a series of economic reforms, including a higher retirement age, to seek loans from international lenders.

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