Central Asian and European countries have USD 27 Billion to spend

Feb 24th, 2012 | Category: Articles, Current Issue ID, February 12, Policies & Strategies, Recommended

At the end of January, the World Bank Group announced it planned to make funds worth USD 27 Billion available for the developing countries in Europe and Central Asia affected by the economic crisis. Therefore, in 2012-2013, the bank will grant funds to several economic sectors to stimulate the economic growth in these countries.

According to a report elaborated by the World Bank and IFC (Doing Business 2012: Doing Business in a More Transparent World assesses) for the ninth consecutive year, Eastern Europe and Central Asia have outrun other regions in improving regulations for entrepreneurs. The report includes regulations of 183 world economies and includes 10 different business areas, such as starting a business, resolving insolvency, and cross-border trade.
Thus, in the past year, 21 out of 24 eco-nomies in the region have improved their regulations on local companies by implementing a total number of 53 reforms in areas such as resolving insolvency, dealing with construction permits, enforcing contracts and protecting investors etc. Improving the access to regulatory information also helps the entrepreneurs. “Increasing transparency and access to regulatory information is important to creating a healthier business environment. To date, 60% of economies in Eastern Europe and Central Asia provide easy access to fee schedules or documentation requirements for trade, business start-up, construction permits, or electricity connections”, said Sylvia Solf, lead author of the report.
However, the countries in the region are severely affected by the economic crisis and need investments and funds to stimulate economic recovery. The World Bank will thus allocate USD 27 Billion for increasing competitiveness, medium-run reforms, including SMEs by 2013, and granting USD 16 Billion through IBRD and the International Development Association.
“Because of their close links with the Eurozone, countries in Central and Southeastern Europe are likely to face an economic slowdown in 2012. The Bank’s additional assistance will help countries maintain a sound macro-fiscal framework, pursue needed structural reforms, ensure flow of credit to small- and medium-enterprises”, said Philippe Le Houérou, Vice President for Emerging Europe and Central Asia at the World Bank.
Through its consultancy programme, the International Financial Corporation (IFC) could allocate USD 10 Billion, USD 2 Billion more than currently, and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency will support the banking sector by increasing its exposure in the region by USD 1 Billion over the next two years.
“While the impact of the crisis in the Eurozone on West European economies has received most of attention, the downturn is still affecting East, Central and South European countries. Therefore, the World Bank will increase the availability of its funds for stimulating economic recovery”, said WB President, Robert B. Zoellick.

[ by Pamela Luică ]


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