Weekly economic review (June 15-19)

New strategy of WB's cooperation with Azerbaijan submitted for approval

The cooperation with Azerbaijan for 2015-2020 strategy project has been submitted for approval by the board of directors of the World Bank, head of the WB Baku office Larisa Leshchenko said. A meeting will be held July 21, 2015.
"Cooperation strategy will support Azerbaijan's transition to a new economic model," she said. "On the one hand, we will help the government improve the efficiency of the public sector. For example, we will help improve the technology of the management of public resources, which will enhance the transparency and responsibility for the execution of programs. We are ready to work in this direction and, of course, are ready to put our resources into it, to bring our experience and knowledge."

Leshchenko said that another aspect of the new strategy is associated with the development of the private sector of the country.

"We have paid special attention to this aspect in the strategy," she said. "We have "seriously strengthened it", in order to help the country move to a new economic model, in other words - to facilitate replacement of public investments in the economy with private ones."

The format of the new strategy is characterized primarily by its flexibility, according to the head of the Baku office of the World Bank. "First, our strategy is based on the diagnosis conducted by a team of independent experts," said Leshchenko.

"We have identified strategic areas and projects we can offer the government. In addition, we will be revising the strategy of cooperation every two years," she said. "As part of this, we will be preparing a report on the implementation of the strategy, identifying areas where work is well implemented and where adjustments need to be made. This will allow us to take into account the situation in the country in a more flexible manner."

The head of the Baku office said that due to the fact that the strategy will be reviewed every two years, it is difficult to determine its total cost. Therefore, the initial sum is $300-500 million, she said.

The current strategy of cooperation with Azerbaijan was designed for 2011-2014. Despite the fact that the timing of its implementation has been completed in late June 2014, the bank continues to work on projects that will be financed by the World Bank within the framework of the transitional period.

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