The FINANCIAL — The Government of Chile and the World Bank Group are pleased to announce the formal opening of the World Bank Group’s Office in Santiago, deepening the relationship after 72 years of partnership.
The office was inaugurated today with the participation of Minister of Finance Nicolás Eyzaguirre Guzmán, Minister of Economy, Development and Tourism, Jorge Rodríguez Grossi, World Bank Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean Jorge Familiar, the World Bank’s Senior Director for Development Economics, Shantayanan Devarajan, and Alberto Rodriguez, Director for the Andean Countries at the World Bank.
“The World Bank’s decision to approach Chile to establish the Center demonstrates the strength of the institutions, credibility and respect our country has in the international arena. We hope to continue strengthening our relations to contribute to generating good public practices for Chile and the region,” said Eyzaguirre.
Chile has been one of Latin America’s fastest-growing economies in recent decades, enabling the country to significantly reduce poverty. Between 2000 and 2015, the population living in poverty (on US$4 per day) decreased from 26 percent to 7.9 percent. Poverty reduction was driven by economic growth, which created jobs for people and resources for government, and by a careful focus on human capital development through investments in education and health, according to the World Bank.
The World Bank has accompanied the transformation of Chile throughout all these years, implementing a program that has placed a strong emphasis on the provision of technical assistance and financing services in areas with a strong impact on development. Only in the last 4 years, the World Bank completed more than 30 studies in the areas of Probity, Tertiary Education, Health Insurance, Social Protection System, Water, Concessions, and Special Economic Zones. In addition, two projects have recently been approved that include financing for results for the Education and Health sectors.
The new World Bank Group Office in Chile, led by Gaston Mariano Blanco as Representative, will manage the ongoing country portfolio for Chile, including the development of a new Country Partnership Framework between the WBG and the Government of Chile in 2018. The new office will facilitate the sharing of Chile’s impressive development experiences with countries around the world, and provide Chile with access to global knowledge and expertise as it transitions into an advanced, high-income economy.
“The opening of this office and of the Regional Center for Research and Development, established jointly with the government, reinforces the World Bank Group’s commitment to Chile and its efforts towards a more prosperous and equitable society” said Familiar.
The WBG office in Chile hosts a Regional Research and Development Center, created jointly by the Government of Chile and the World Bank’s Development Economics (DEC) Vice-Presidency. The Center’s core activities include advancing the work on the internationally recognized datasets of Doing Business, Enterprise Surveys, Women, Business and the Law, and Enabling the Business of Agriculture. It will also undertake research on other topics of regional and global significance, including financial sector development in middle to high income economies. The Center is led by Adrian Gonzalez.
“The opening of a Regional Research and Development Center in Chile marks a new chapter in the longstanding relationship between Chile and the World Bank Group. Our presence and collaboration through this hub will allow us to systematically tap Chile’s know-how and best practices in key areas, such as poverty reduction, and share that knowledge globally. We also look forward to conducting innovative development policy research work from our new knowledge hub in Santiago,” said Devarajan.
The World Bank Group Office in Chile is housed in Av. Apoquindo 2929 Piso 13 Oficina 1300-A, Las Condes, Santiago.