WASHINGTON, March 28, 2019 – The
World Bank Group (WBG) Board of Executive Directors endorsed today the
2019-23 Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for Armenia with around $500
million to support sustainable and inclusive growth and improve living
standards in the country.
The new CPF is fully aligned with the government’s
five-year program for a just, inclusive, and citizen-centric Armenia. It
builds on the vision outlined by the new government in the wake of the
“velvet revolution” in the spring of 2018 and embodies fresh political
will to overcome Armenia’s development constraints and deepen reforms
through a commitment to fight corruption, strengthen the rule of law, and
invest in human capital.
The program implementation will leverage
the complementary strengths of the World Bank Group institutions -- the
International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), International
Finance Corporation (IFC), and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency
“The proposed World Bank Group strategy
will capitalize on the momentum and political will for deeper reforms and
renewed commitment to good governance sparked by recent changes in Armenia
to support a rebalancing of the economy toward a new growth model,”
said Sylvie Bossoutrot, World Bank Country Manager for Armenia.
To help the Government of Armenia to advance
the goals of eliminating extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity
in the country context, the CPF envisages support to Armenia across three
export enablers and firm competitiveness;
human capital and equity; and
managing environmental and natural resources.
In supporting Armenia’s efforts to build
a new, more inclusive growth model, the CPF will seek opportunities to
incorporate key elements of good governance and inclusion, including public
accountability and transparency, citizen engagement, gender, spatial equality,
and digital connectivity.
“I am particularly happy that the strategic
program has been developed through extensive stakeholder consultations
with the government, the private sector, civil society, and development
partners,” said Mercy Tembon, World Bank Regional Director for
South Caucasus. “Moreover, the development challenges and opportunities
that informed the CPF process also reflect the government program priorities
and the WBG Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD) for Armenia.”
IFC, with its focus on private sector development,
will continue mobilizing private financing and collaborating across the
WBG to support modernization of Armenia’s energy sector to reduce the
reliance on imported fuel. IFC will also support the government’s efforts
to increase competition and open the economy to foreign investment by providing
direct financing to companies and supporting the development of export-oriented
industries. It will continue working with financial intermediaries to boost
their capacity to finance medium and small enterprises and facilitate trade.
“IFC welcomes the opening of Armenia’s
economy and the creation of new opportunities for investment. We see our
role as promoting greater private sector participation in key sectors,
such as energy, as we continue supporting the country in its journey to
improve the living standards of the population,” said Jan van Bilsen,
IFC Regional Manager for South Caucasus.
The CPF program will be implemented adaptively
given the current constrained fiscal environment in Armenia and will be
selective based on three engagement principles designed to maximize
its development impact: 1) catalyze development and private sector partners
around high-priority projects; 2) explore areas in which
Armenia can benefit from the frontier experience of other countries and
customize these approaches to the specific needs of the country; and 3)
optimize the existing portfolio to maximize its relevance and contribution
to Armenia’s new development goals.