World Bank Group unveils Shared Services Centre in Sofia

Photo: BTA Shaolin Yang (L) and Boyko Borissov

A Shared Services Centre of the World Bank Group was unveiled at the Sofia Tech Park in the Bulgarian capital on Thursday. The grand opening was attended by World Bank Managing Director and World Bank Group Chief Administrative Officer Shaolin Yang, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov and Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova.

The Centre will provide top quality IT support for the World Bank's activities around the world. It will offer real-time cooperation and assistance for the Bank's operations in more than 160 countries. The facility will ensure uninterrupted provision of internal services in the areas of IT, financial management and human resources management.
Yang thanked the Bulgarian government for the partnership in building the Centre, describing it as a new phase in the more general partnership between Bulgaria and the World Bank.
Prime Minister Borissov noted that the IT sector in Bulgaria is developing twice or three times as rapidly as in the rest of the EU. He thanked World Bank Group Chief Executive Kristalina Georgieva for showing through her work with the Bank that Bulgarians deserve to be trusted. Borissov thanked the World Bank for providing consultation for selecting the concessionaire of Sofia Airport, which was completed on Wednesday. He described it as one of the most complex and important concessions. He expressed hope that the Bank will also assist the building of the Sofia-Skopje-Tirana corridor, "a geostrategic, extremely important facility which will add much impetus to the region's development."
Finance Minister Goranov stressed the fact that Sofia is the second place after Chennai, India where the World Bank Group has set up a shared services centre.
The project is being implemented in stages. The centre's staff will reach its full size of over 300 employees in five years. The facility will hire 75 IT experts by the summer of 2020. Their number will increase to 150 in 2021 and 200 in later years.
Talking with Managing Director Yang earlier in the day, Prime Minister Borissov expressed his government's support for the World Bank Shared Services Centre in Sofia, the Council of Ministers press office said. He expressed his confidence that the facility will have a positive impact on the Bulgarian economy. It will build upon the country's potential in sectors of high added value and will provide high-tech jobs. Besides, the presence of a prestigious organization like the World Bank in Sofia will boost Bulgaria's reputation as an attractive business and investment destination.
Borissov said Bulgaria and the World Bank Group maintain steady, long-lasting partnership which is being developed further. He singled out the country's advantages as an attractive destination for institutions of the World Bank's calibre: a gateway location, a stable political and economic environment, skilled labour and very good infrastructure.

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