A new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for the Republic of Armenia for 2014-2017 was discussed today by the World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors. The four-year strategy is a framework document outlining the World Bank Group’s support to the country.
The strategy is anchored in the Armenia Development Strategy 2025 and places private sector-led job creation at the center of the World Bank Group’s response. It also stresses the need for improvement of labor productivity in the agricultural sector that supports the livelihood of over one million of the rural population, and would lead to higher economic growth, shared prosperity, and faster poverty reduction in both urban and rural areas. The strategy proposes financial support of US$ 873 million over the next four years, with access to the International Development Association (IDA), International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), and International Finance Corporation (IFC) funding.
”This Country Partnership Strategy aims to support private sector-led job creation to underpin Armenia’s development”, said Henry Kerali, World Bank Regional Director for the South Caucasus. “It aims to support Armenia’s development by strengthening competitiveness of the economy through the implementation of critical reforms that will help boost job creation, and by ensuring more efficient and equitable delivery of social services.”
The strategy will support Armenia across two main engagement areas:
- Supporting competitiveness and job creationby improving the ease of doing business, promoting exports and tourism, and improving SME access to finance; and
- Improving efficiency and equity in social services delivery by ensuring access of all, especially women, to quality health and education services, and strengthening the social protection system.
Improving governance and anti-corruption measures in public services is a cross-cutting focus. The strategy will help revamp the existing anti-corruption framework, improve efficiency of the public administration, and deepen public finance management reform.
“The World Bank Group’s support through its focus on jobsaims to foster income growth, including for the youth and women, while improving coverage of basic social services of the extreme poor, and access to these services by the bottom 40 percent of the population in the income distribution”, said Jean-Michel Happi, World Bank Country Manager for Armenia.“We will also aim to support business creation, innovation and accessibility of economic infrastructures, along with improved education and health service delivery.”
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will continue supporting the real sector through investments in competitive sectors such as mining and agribusiness. IFC will also deepen its advisory services operations in order to improve the investment climate with a focus on the agribusiness sector, strengthen the financial sector, and develop the market for investment in renewable energy.
“The private sector is critical to economic growth,” said Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Manager for the South Caucasus. “IFC, with its focus on private sector development, plans to leverage the power of entrepreneurs to create jobs and support sustainable economic growth in Armenia. We will continue to seek investment opportunities and provide advice in the areas where those are needed most.”