WORLD BANK TO SUPPORT SOFIA CITY DEVELOPMENT
Mr. O'Brian in what way does the WB extend its support to Sofia municipality?
- We support the municipality in developing its strategy for the city development. We render consultations and the help of our experts some of which work in Sofia and in many different cities worldwide. These city development strategies have proved that they were extremely useful for a considerable part of big European cities like Barcelona, Lyon, as well as in other East European regions - in Budapest and Warsaw. They target the city development, the improvement of the business climate, but in the meantime they form a basis for guaranteeing the financing and for attraction of new sources of financing in the next couple of years.
We provide a number of experts with international background in city planning, economic development and social problems. They can support the experts in Sofia in considering the best ways for the city development. We would like to provide even more consulting support on public matters during the next couple of months, because it is of paramount importance to have the support of all individuals, of social groups, the business circles, etc.
And regarding the project financing, what are your forecasts, how the investments will be made?
- I think that the city will need financial support and investments in the years to come. As the city mayor Sofiansky said various sources may be testede - international banks, commercial banks, as well as local sources. In this aspect the WB is one of the potential sources. For the moment there is no specific project for financing. But we can regularly review what are the possibilities in this aspect which the bank can support.
Is there a specific city strategy project that you are planning to support financially?
- At present we plan to develop the major aspects for improvement of economy, improvement of services, which municipalities offer to the ordinary citizens, as well as improvement of the Sofia infrastructure. After these major aspects are improved, some individual projects may come up. I am convinced that a number of potential investors will be interested in them, and we are going to study them as well.