Slovak Republic - Country partnership strategy (السلوفاكية)
The Slovak Republic has made great strides in implementing reforms since the FY0l Country Assistance Strategy (CAS), and on May 1, 2004, acceded to membership in the European Union (EU). A new framework to govern relations between the World Bank and Slovakia... انظر المزيد +
The Slovak Republic has made great strides in implementing reforms since the FY0l Country Assistance Strategy (CAS), and on May 1, 2004, acceded to membership in the European Union (EU). A new framework to govern relations between the World Bank and Slovakia is now needed, one that moves beyond the old lender-borrower relationship to a partnership which recognizes Slovakia's new status. While financial support will have its place, the emerging partnership is based on facilitating knowledge-sharing and policy advice. Building on this approach, the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) proposed for FY05-07 focuses on analytical work and technical assistance operations designed to assist Slovakia to reach its goals, while leaving open the possibility for broader financial support should the Partnership determine it useful to meet specific needs. Slovakia now faces three broad development challenges. The first is to continue the prudent management of the economy and meet obligations under the Stability and Growth Pact as Slovakia seeks to achieve full benefits from its membership in the EU by adopting the Euro. The recent fiscal reforms have created a strong platform for fulfilling this agenda. A second challenge is to converge to European income levels and be fully competitive in European and world markets, and to build the capacity to productively use newly available EU resources. Structural reforms to improve labor and capital mobility will be important in this regard. The third challenge is to reduce poverty and unemployment and to address the marginalization of the Roma. Unemployment is much too high at over 17 percent, and, while absolute poverty is low, there are deep pockets of poverty, particularly among the unemployed, households living in poor regions, and the Roma minority, who comprise nearly 11 percent of the population. Labor market reforms are needed, small and medium size enterprise (SME) development (which should normally generate a high proportion of new jobs) is lagging, and education reforms are only just beginning while lack of education remains a key determinant of unemployment and poverty. For the future, assistance will be formulated in the context of the Partnership Strategy guided by agreed criteria. Such assistance should: (a) have a high payoff in terms of either equity or growth, (b) complement other sources of funds or expertise, (c) reflect the Bank's comparative advantage, and (d) have an impact in the near or medium term, other factors being equal. Economic and sector work will continue to be an important part of the partnership because of its impact on Slovakia and because lessons learned in Slovakia are applicable in less advanced countries. The World Bank could assist with reforms to enhance competitiveness in selected aspects of private sector development (financial deepening, small and medium scale enterprises), rural development, labor markets, legal/judicial sector, and education. It could also assist in poverty reduction and social inclusion through work on a poverty assessment and poverty alleviation, education, as well as work to reduce the marginalization of the Roma.
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