SKOPJE – Anna Bjerde, World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia, visited North Macedonia May 29-31 and met with key partners including government, industry private and academia. During her visit, Ms. Bjerde also attended the Skopje Economic Finance Forum, organized by the Ministry of Finance, where she delivered a keynote address on macroeconomic challenges in turbulent times.
“This conference provides an excellent opportunity to learn from each other’s experiences and to reflect on how best to design and implement effective and sustainable policies that not only respond to crises, but also support medium- to medium-term development goals. term,” said Anna Bjerde, World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia. “Policymakers must ensure they are better prepared to manage future crises as part of a comprehensive approach to boost resilient, inclusive and green development. Finance ministers must balance a commitment to fiscal sustainability, while protecting the most vulnerable from long-term adverse effects.
In Skopje, Ms Bjerde met Stevo Pendarovski, President of North Macedonia, Dimitar Kovacevski, Prime Minister, and Fatmir Besimi, Minister of Finance, as well as the Governor of the National Bank, Anita Angelovska Bezhoska. They discussed current challenges caused by the COVID-19 crisis and the current World Bank program in North Macedonia, while exploring new opportunities for engagement to support the country’s long-term development goals.
During a panel discussion with representatives of the private sector, universities and think tanks, Ms. Bjerde discussed the main priorities for the economic development of North Macedonia, as well as the challenges facing the private sector, including women’s skills and participation in the labor market, and the need to facilitate trade and enable green and digital transformation for private sector growth.
During her trip, Ms Bjerde visited a child-centered kindergarten in the village of Volkovo, together with Jovana Trenchevska, Minister of Labor and Social Policy, and Aleksandar Stojkoski, Mayor of Volkovo Municipality. In addition, she visited the day care center for disabled children of Lipkovo municipality, supported by the project for the improvement of social services.
The World Bank Group is a long-standing partner of North Macedonia and its citizens. The ongoing World Bank Group program in North Macedonia is implemented under the 2019-23 Country Partnership to support the country in its efforts to: (1) improve the environment for a vibrant private sector and strengthen export-led growth, (2) build human capital for inclusive development, and (3) strengthen sustainability.