President Ilham Aliyev received World Bank regional director (UPDATED)
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received Regional Director of the World Bank Sebastian Molineus.
Welcoming the World Bank Regional Director, President Ilham Aliyev said:
- You are welcome! I am very glad to see you!
Sebastian Molineus: I am glad to see you too. Finally, it is a great pleasure to return to Azerbaijan and Baku and to see you.
President Ilham Aliyev: I am very glad to see you again. I know you have a busy schedule.
Sebastian Molineus: That is right. I imagine your schedule is even busier than mine. So thank you for taking the time to receive us.
President Ilham Aliyev: It is a good opportunity to exchange views on our future cooperation and plan on our joint steps. Because so far the cooperation has been very successful. I have just looked at the information. We have implemented 47 projects, some of which are still underway. The total package is worth about $4 billion. I would like to thank you for your support of very important areas of our development, of our infrastructure. I would also like to thank you for your support in financing TANAP. This has been very important both financially and in terms of giving a certain signal to other financial institutions. I am very glad that the project has already been launched. The Southern Gas Corridor has been in operation for exactly three months, and this is only a beginning. Of course, we are very proud to have improved our position in the Doing Business program. We are ranked 28th among 191 countries. This is a really important achievement for us. But, of course, we will continue the reforms, and I am sure that we will discuss that in our meeting. At the same time, there are new opportunities in the liberated territories. There is a great need for infrastructure development there because the entire infrastructure has been destroyed, and in order to bring people back, we must, of course, clear mines and then rebuild everything. It will not be possible to return IDPs and refugees without infrastructure projects. Therefore, we rely on cooperation with the World Bank in these matters as well.
Sebastian Molineus: First of all, thank you very much for taking the time to meet with us. Let me congratulate you on Novruz holiday, albeit slightly late. I do hope you had the opportunity to spend the holiday with your family. I want to emphasize that I am very happy to be here again. One year has passed since the pandemic broke out, and fortunately we have been able to return.
President Aliyev, first of all, I would like to introduce to you our new Country Manager for Azerbaijan Sarah Michael. Of course, you know her well. Sarah will be the new Manager for your country. She will be here for the next four years. I think it is a great choice, if I may say so. You will see that soon. She brings all her qualities and attributes to further improve the cooperation between the Government of Azerbaijan and the World Bank.
President Ilham Aliyev: I hope you have a good time here.
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During the conversation, Sebastian Molineus stressed the importance of economic processes taking place in Azerbaijan and cooperation with the country, and praised the reform policy of the President of Azerbaijan.
The sides exchanged views on the continuation of relations in strategic areas and successful cooperation between the World Bank and Azerbaijan.