World Bank Pledges Ongoing Development Support for Burma
By Kyaw Hsu Mon 22 February 2016
RANGOON — The World Bank’s vice president for East Asia and the Pacific pledged to continue development support for Burma, according to a statement released on Monday following a meeting in Naypyidaw with Aung San Suu Kyi.
In the statement, Axel van Trotsenburg reaffirmed the World Bank’s strong partnership with Burma as it endeavors to cooperate toward “ending extreme poverty and promoting growth.”
The vice president met with National League for Democracy (NLD) representatives, including Suu Kyi on Monday, as well as senior government officials in Naypyidaw including Minister of Finance Win Shein and Lower House Speaker Win Myint to discuss the World Bank’s support for the country.
“[Burma’s] historic transformation over the last couple of years has delivered significant economic gains,” said van Trotsenburg in the statement.
“Between 2011 and 2014, [Burma’s] economy grew at an average rate of 7 percent per year, which is among the fastest in East Asia. The country now has the opportunity to advance reforms further so growth will benefit more people across geographical areas, ethnic communities and income groups in [Burma].”
Priority issues in the meetings between Trotsenburg and Burmese officials were closing the gap in access to basic services, lessening rural poverty while raising agriculture productivity, generating a competitive business environment, expanding financial inclusion and access to energy, and strengthening public sector governance.
In 2015, the World Bank Group created its first Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for Burma for 2015 to 2017. The CPF details how the World Bank Group can support Burma along its path to a more prosperous democratic government, the statement said.
The World Bank re-engaged with Burma in 2012 and since then has pledged to spur development of the country’s economy and infrastructure.