The Republic of Korea is a founding member of the EBRD and an important contributor to the Bank's work.
Korea has been an EBRD donor since 1993 and has emerged as a strong partner in recent years, contributing over US$ 27.3 million in donor funds. In 2009, Korea became a contributor to the Early Transition Countries (ETC) Fund and the most recent US$ 1 million contribution provided by the Ministry of Strategy and Finance of Korea in September 2016 helped replenish the ETC Fund. Korea was a contributor to the EBRD Water Fund. In 2016 Korea provided US$ 1 million to the Small Business Impact Fund (SBIF) for Turkey and Western Balkans.
Korea and the EBRD: at a glance
US$27.3m donor funds supporting EBRD operations
1% capital share
€1.4bn Korea-EBRD investments
Korea concentrated its support initially in Central Asia, and now is extending the geographic reach of its support to the SEMED countries and Ukraine. Korea supports a wide range of activities in various sectors, from municipal and environmental infrastructure and energy efficiency to the financial sector. The projects supported by the Korean funding in 2016 range from business advice to SMEs to training in commercial law for Mongolian judges, helping structure the Turkish health care sector and analysing technical capabilities and financing gaps of grain storage facilities in Ukraine.
Strategically, Korea is closely engaged in the development of the Local Currency Market Initiative, as well as climate change and green growth initiatives.
Korea is an important source of foreign direct investment in the EBRD’s countries of operations. The value of joint Korea-EBRD investment stood at €1.4 billion as of January 2017. EBRD finance accounted for €0.8 billion of this total and Korean investment accounted for €0.5 billion.
Korea-EBRD investment has been especially strong in Turkey with 62 per cent of joint investments, 23 per cent in Hungary and15 per cent in Romania. Broken down by sector, 34 per cent of joint Korea-EBRD investment has been in energy, 32 per cent in industry, commerce and agribusiness, 24 per cent in infrastructure and 9 per cent in financial institutions.
Korean banks are also involved in the Trade Facilitation Programme, through which the EBRD guarantees the payment of trade finance instruments issued by banks in its countries of operations to foreign confirming banks. Through the Programme, the EBRD has supported 353 export and import transactions of Korean banks totalling €396 million. Of the over 800 foreign confirming banks and bank branches in the Programme, 11 are Korean.
In 2016, seven consultancy contracts totalling €343,000 were awarded to Korean consultants.