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 Press release - World Bank Helps Expand Economic Reforms In Azerbaijan (WB)

 Press release date: 23.07.1997

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
The World Bank
Europe and Central Asia Region
News Release No. 98/1423 ECA

Media Contacts: Jan Pakulski (202) 473-1797
E-mail:JPakulski@Worldbank.org
Sevda Eris (202) 473-3847
E-mail: SEris@Worldbank.org
Fax: (202) 522-3362

WORLD BANK HELPS EXPAND ECONOMIC REFORMS IN AZERBAIJAN

WASHINGTON, July 24, 1997 The World Bank today approved a US$70 million Structural Adjustment Credit to help strengthen the government’s economic reform program. The credit, financed by funds from the International Development Association (IDA), the Bank’s concessional lending arm, will support Azerbaijan’s economic recovery while helping to introduce greater competition and flexibility to the economy, and set the stage for further development of the private sector, especially in the non-oil sectors.

After making substantial progress on restoring financial stability in 1995-1996 through a strong macroeconomic stabilization program supported by the International Monetary Fund, the Government of Azerbaijan is now better positioned to focus on implementing a comprehensive economic reform program, which the Structural Adjustment Credit will support.

The Structural Adjustment Credit will help the government to:

  • Open domestic markets to competition by establishing a non-discriminatory trade regime;
  • Reduce the role of the state in economic and commercial activities by reorganizing the public sector (ministries, agencies, etc.), and by accelerating the privatization program;
  • Undertake financial sector reforms to establish a sound private banking system, including the restructuring of state-owned banks; and
  • Mitigate the impact of residential utility price increases on the poor by establishing a compensation system.

The IDA credit will be disbursed in two equal tranches and will be on standard IDA terms with a maturity of 35 years, including a ten year grace period.

Since joining the World Bank in 1992 and IDA in 1995, Azerbaijan has received approximately US$270 million equivalent in IDA commitments for seven projects.



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