EBRD President underscores support for businesses in Belarus

By Anton Usov

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EBRD President visited Belarus

Sir Suma Chakrabarti (right) with President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus.

Meetings with local authorities in Minsk

EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti has completed a visit to Belarus today, where he held discussions with the country’s President Alexander Lukashenko, Prime Minister Andrey Kobyakov, senior civil servants, businesses, civil society organisations and the diplomatic community.

It was the first visit by the EBRD President to Belarus since the adoption of a new country strategy in September 2016, which provides for wider engagement in public sector projects, including key state and municipal infrastructure and pre-privatisation support of state-owned enterprises.

President Chakrabarti said: “We have come to Minsk to underscore our commitment to Belarus and our readiness to engage in important investment projects which have a real impact on the country’s economy. The EBRD is pleased to see a growing role of the private sector and we would like to encourage the authorities to continue this successful course. We also hope that the greater openness to discussing political issues, as it was displayed in recent years, would continue.”

During his two-and-a-half-day visit the EBRD President signed a €50 million subordinated debt facility, which will strengthen the capital base of Belinvestbank, as part of its pre-privatisation support agreed between the government of Belarus and the EBRD in May 2015. He also signed a grant agreement with the EU for the support of small and medium-sized enterprises in Belarus for the next four years as well as two accords with the Republic of Belarus, which will pave the way for the development of local capital markets and the commercialisation and corporate governance improvements of state-owned enterprises.

Since the start of its operations in Belarus in 1992, the EBRD has invested almost €1.9 billion in some 90 projects in various sectors of the country's economy. The Bank is actively engaged in a variety of projects ranging from pre-privatisation support of banks and construction industry companies to renewable energy projects, residential energy efficiency and solid waste management.


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