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MEDIA RELEASE

Australia Welcomes World Bank Office to Sydney

The Australian Government is delighted by the decision of The World Bank to establish an office in Australia. This office will cover The World Bank's operations in East Timor, Papua New Guinea and the South Pacific islands.

The decision to move the Bank's Pacific office from Washington to Sydney is a result of the decentralisation initiative pursued under recent World Bank reforms. These reforms aim to increase the Bank's responsiveness to its clients. The relocation of the Pacific office to Sydney is expected to provide improved services to the Asia Pacific region. The office would also serve as a focal point for contacts between the Bank, the Australian Government and civil society.

This move reflects a constructive and growing working relationship between The World Bank and Australia a relationship which was boosted by cooperative work during the Asian economic crisis.

The office is expected to be operational by July this year and, once fully established, will employ around ten World Bank professional staff. The office will be headed by Klaus Rohland - the World Bank's Director for Papua New Guinea, Pacific and East Timor.

Australia today signed an agreement with The World Bank providing $10million towards the Trust Fund for East Timor. This trust fund is the major international funding arrangement for supporting East Timor's reconstruction and development. Australia is the first country to sign an agreement with The World Bank for contribution to the Trust Fund for East Timor.

Media contacts:

Niki Savva (Treasurer's Office) 02 6277 7340
Matt Francis (Mr Downer's Office) 02 6277 7500/0419 206 890 Fionna Douglas (AusAID) 02 6206 4960 / 0412 804 489

Last reviewed: 25 February, 2013