New World Bank director for Central Asia visits Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan

BISHKEK (TCA) — The new World Bank Director for Central Asia, Lilia Burunciuc late last week visited Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan for introductory meetings with the two countries’ governments, the World Bank press service reported.

In Bishkek, Lilia Burunciuc exchanged views with the Kyrgyz Republic’s leadership on the country’s development agenda.  During her visit, accompanied by World Bank Country Manager in the Kyrgyz Republic Jean-Michel Happi, Ms. Burunciuc met with Prime Minister Sooronbai Jeenbekov, as well as members of Parliament, other senior government officials, and development partners.

In the meeting with Prime Minister Jeenbekov, Ms. Burunciuc discussed the World Bank-financed projects in the Kyrgyz Republic aimed at sustaining economic growth through policy reforms and investments in key sectors.  Ms. Burunciuc reiterated the Bank Group’s continued support to the Government’s programs aimed at promoting good governance, boosting private sector-led job creation, and improving livelihoods of the Kyrgyz people.

“The World Bank Group remains committed to supporting the Kyrgyz Republic’s development agenda, and we look forward to more discussions and consultations with all stakeholders on the areas of the Bank Group’s cooperation with the country under the upcoming 2018-2021 Country Partnership Framework,” said Lilia Burunciuc. “We have launched the preparation of the Systematic Country Diagnostic, an analytical assessment of the country’s challenges and opportunities to boost shared prosperity and eliminate poverty, which will underpin the 2018-2021 Country Partnership Framework. It will be closely aligned with the country’s next National Development Strategy for maximum impact.”

During her meeting with Kazakh Prime Minister, Bakytzhan Sagintayev in Astana, Lilia Burunciuc emphasized the importance of ongoing institutional reforms being carried out by Kazakhstan. She said Kazakhstan has made remarkable progress on the way to modernizing its economy and enhancing the well-being of its population in the last two decades. Ms. Burunciuc expressed optimism that the World Bank’s support on macroeconomic management and competitiveness development and other activities under the Partnership Framework Arrangement will contribute to job creation and foster non-oil sector growth.

“The World Bank welcomes Kazakhstan’s positive role in promoting cooperation across the region. The country has strong potential to enhance the integration of Central Asia into world markets through new transit corridors and modern customs services that will benefit all Central Asian nations,” said Lilia Burunciuc.

Appointed on August 1, 2016 as the World Bank Director for Central Asia, Ms. Burunciuc will lead the policy dialogue with governments on various aspects of development.

Sergey Kwan

TCA