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Prime Minister Kosor meets World Bank regional director Peter Harrold

ZAGREB, Nov 9 (Hina) - Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor on Tuesday held talks at government headquarters with the World Bank Director for Central Europe and the Baltic Countries, Peter Harrold, who on that occasion introduced the new head of the World Bank Office in Croatia, Hangjoo Hahm.

Prime Minister Kosor thanked the World Bank for supporting Croatia in the implementation of its programme for economic recovery.

She said that the programme was being implemented, underlining some of the more important measures, such as the reduction of non-tax levies, the abolishment of the higher of two crisis tax rates, and the introduction of a single system of public procurement.

She also recalled that 900,000 pensioners and 600,000 workers were exempt from the crisis tax.

Speaking of positive changes in the economy, Kosor mentioned a 14.8 percent increase in exports to the EU in the first ten months, an increase in exports to the United States of 28 percent, and a 3.1 percent increase in industrial output.

She informed her guests of work on the drafting of the 2011 budget, saying that budget spending would not increase in the next two years. Along with the 2011 budget, Croatia will for the first time adopt a law on fiscal accountability, she said.

Harrold supported the government's programme for economic recovery, as well as the ongoing reforms.

He pointed to the importance of continuing the reform of the health system, downsizing the state administration and adopting the law on fiscal accountability. The World Bank will continue to strongly support those measures, he said.

Also discussed at the talks was Croatia's progress noted in the World Bank's Doing Business 2011 report, which covers 183 countries.