Bulgaria is rated highly by the World Bank (WB) and by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for its fiscal policy and accelerated economic growth over the last year and a half. This became clear during the meetings of the Minister of Finance Vladislav Goranov with the Fund and the Bank which are part of the annual meetings of both institutions that are taking place in the US capital city Washington, D.C. Together with the BNB Governor Mr. Dimitar Radev, the Deputy Minister of Finance Mrs. Marinela Petrova and the BNB Deputy Governor Mr. Dimitar Kostov Minister Goranov took part in the opening plenary session of the WB and IMF annual meetings, as well as in a number of meetings at the headquarters of both institutions.

"I am really impressed with your country's progress as against two years ago. Bulgaria is one of the Eastern European countries with the best macroeconomic indicators. The accelerating economic growth, the dropping unemployment rate and the improvement in the budget stance are impressive", Mr. Cyril Muller, WB Vice President, said during his meeting with Mr. Goranov. According to him, the Bank's experts were satisfied with the successful asset quality review of the Bulgarian banks and with the subsequent stress tests. He and the Bulgarian Finance Minister discussed the public finance status, the lessening deficit and the expectations of the Bulgarian government for the development of the country's economy in the coming three years. Mr. Vladislav Goranov and Mr. Cyril Muller also discussed the energy efficiency projects where Bulgaria and the World Bank could have a successful partnership.

During the meeting with Mr. Mitsuhiro Furusawa, IMF Deputy Managing Director, the Minister of Finance Mr. Vladislav Goranov presented the measures of the government of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov against grey economy, smuggling and corruption which had resulted in a considerable increase in budget revenues in the last year and a half. "We have recently heard some very good news from Bulgaria. The better collection and the lessening deficit encourage us to expect a balanced budget over the next two years", the IMF Deputy Managing Director pointed out. Mr. Furusawa congratulated Mr. Vladislav Goranov and Mr. Dimitar Radev on the successful asset quality review of the Bulgarian banks and the stress tests by highlighting that the Bulgarian financial system was stable, thus ensuring a sustainable economic growth both this year and in the coming years, too.

Mr. Vladislav Goranov also met with Mr. Poul Thomsen, IMF Director European Department, with whom he discussed the priorities of the Bulgarian government which were paid due attention through the expenditure side of the budget. "Education is our key priority. We will allocate additional BGN 223 million for education as early as in the next budget. This is our key focus in tackling the demographic crisis, the lack of qualified staff for the economy and the risks for a growth deceleration in the future", Minister Goranov underlined. He also presented the measures aimed at improving Bulgaria's pension and health systems which the government of Boyko Borissov was taking.

Mr. Vladislav Goranov and Mr. Dimitar Radev also took part in the Constituency Meeting of the IMF and the WB wherein Bulgaria is a member. At a meeting with Mr. Frank Heemskerk, WB Executive Director, Mr. Goranov presented Bulgaria's economic growth factors and the plans of the Ministry of Finance for the 2017 budget. He was encouraged by Mr. Heemskerk that the World Bank would continue supporting our country in the efforts for achieving a balanced budget and a greater efficiency of state expenditures.

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