Investment climate and governance

The EBRD’s Investment Climate and Governance Initiative

Successful transition to well-functioning markets requires effective and accountable institutions of economic governance, inclusiveness and robust economic structures.  The EBRD launched the Investment Climate and Governance Initiative (ICGI) in 2014 to support reform-minded governments and its corporate clients to increase transparency, good governance and healthy competition.

The ICGI was introduced one year after the 2013 Transition Report described in detail how many countries where the EBRD invests had become ‘stuck in transition’.  While the EBRD’s project delivery in recent years has been strong, the pace of transition to open-market economies that promote entrepreneurship in the region has slowed significantly and in some cases has gone into reverse.


This loss of momentum is clearly visible in areas such as the rule of law, control of corruption, regulatory quality, and government effectiveness.  Less advanced recipient countries rank at the bottom of global league tables on business environment and corruption, which affects investor perceptions and slows growth.

The ICGI is designed to increase the impact of our policy reform dialogue initiatives on areas of economic governance that directly affect the private sector, and where the EBRD has advisory and technical assistance capacity, by taking a more strategic approach to their development.

The Initiative plays to one of our core strengths: supporting the partnership between the public and private sectors.  The ICGI seeks to strengthen public-private dialogue, for example through investment councils.  It establishes recourse mechanisms such as business ombudsman institutions for businesses with legitimate claims against state entities that infringe on their rights.  It aims to enhance transparency in business registration, and to streamline business regulation in order to reduce the administrative burden on firms.

Learn about how the EBRD’s Investment Climate and Governance Initiative is tackling the challenge of investment climate and governance reform in countries of operations.

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It draws on the expertise in the EBRD’s Legal Transition Programme to strengthen the legal framework for markets – by providing advice on improving laws, training judges, and setting up alternative dispute resolution mechanisms – and to enhance corporate governance in both state- and privately-owned companies that want to optimise performance and attract commercial finance.

For this effort to be successful, the ICGI aims to build strong partnerships with the other multilateral development organisations and intergovernmental organisations, civil society and the business community.

In countries with strong demand for EBRD engagement and evident political will to introduce reforms that can improve the investment climate and economic governance, ICGI develops full country programmes with a set of interventions detailed in a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the EBRD and the recipient government.

Four ICGI country programmes are being currently implemented: Albania, Moldova, Serbia and Ukraine.