Alexander Lukashenko, World Bank's Cyril Muller discuss new cooperation road map

Alexander Lukashenko, World Bank's Cyril Muller discuss new cooperation road map

A road map of cooperation with the World Bank needs to be effective. Alexander Lukashenko on June 2 discussed the future projects with the World Bank Vice-President for Europe and Central Asia.

To improve the quality of life is the overall goal of the Belarusian state and the World Bank, the world's largest financial structure.

WB loans to Belarus are mainly granted for the modernization of transport routes, energy sector and the development of water supply systems. Among other priorities are education, small and medium enterprises, and public finance management.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
In the most difficult times, the World Bank did not change its style of work. We have always found common interests. You support us in financing infrastructure projects. It is necessary to note the construction and reconstruction of roads in Belarus, water treatment, minimizing the effects of the Chernobyl disaster, the processing of waste and garbage. You have greatly helped us modernize the timber industry and forestry. It is with your support that the modernization of forestry started. And today we have almost completed import substitution in forestry and have achieved the highest standards.

The World Bank in Belarus is implementing projects worth almost $1 billion in Belarus. There is also a reserve in this cooperation, which experts estimate at more than $200 million. 

Thus, by 2017 the investment portfolio of Belarusian projects can be increased to $1.2 billion. Among the main objectives are housing, town planning, and the construction of the second runway at National Airport Minsk. 

The total amount of investment over the 20-year history of co-operation is estimated at $1.5 billion. 

The President expressed gratitude to the Belarusian side for the established level of cooperation.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
At the end of 2016, we will have to define a road map, a program of cooperation for the future. I think we'll do it in time, and it will be no worse than in previous years. Today, we are implementing a number of projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars that you have allocated to us, especially for the reconstruction of the western corridor of the road to Grodno and other areas. I must say that we are implementing these projects on time, but I got the impression that the Belarusian side is a bit slow on some projects. I would like you to tell me where our weaknesses lie and we will correct the situation. Remember that your financing, especially in this situation, gives jobs to thousands of people and helps create beautiful objects. Experience of working with you - open and principled - is a certain school for us. I think that our meeting will contribute to further improvement of our relations.

Cyril Muller, Europe and Central Asia Vice-President of the World Bank:
We are grateful to you, Mr President, for your positive evaluation of the joint programs. Indeed, we've been able to achieve significant positive results in recent years. And I would like to ask you for assistance so that we continue to provide the same support to our joint programs and projects. As you have noticed, we are beginning to develop a strategy for the future with your colleagues. And I will be grateful if you define the key points to which we should pay attention.

Among the specific projects is the modernization of the transit corridor between Minsk and Grodno ($ 250 million), forestry development ($40 million) and the conversion of small boilers into full CHP ($215 million). The main thing is that ordinary people feel the effects of these initiatives.

It is not easy to get WB money. The Bank provides loans only to creditworthy borrowers and only finances long-term projects that will give a real economic impact.

Mikhail Grachev, financial analyst:
This is evidence that Belarus' is trustworth, that Belarus is a creditworthy state, and the planned projects will be implemented. And this will enable the country to create new jobs.