EBRD First Vice President Rigterink visits Western Balkans
EBRD First Vice President Jürgen Rigterink opened the Bank’s activities in the final quarters of the year with a visit to the Western Balkans this week for meetings with the authorities and businesses and project signings. Physical visits to North Macedonia and Albania were followed by engagements via video call with the authorities in Montenegro. In each country the EBRD First Vice President reiterated the Bank’s commitment to support the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic: “The region has been hit hard by the crisis and now it is time to move forward and return to economic progress and growth, a development that has to be green, inclusive and sustainable.”
The visits were covered widely by local and regional press. In an interview with North Macedonia’s national news agency MIA, the EBRD First Vice President said: “We regard financing the green transition as the most important and urgent task ahead. In the Western Balkans this will include a further push towards introducing the considerable potential for renewables into a competitive market environment.”
During the visit to Tirana, Mr. Rigterink spoke, among others, to Albanian Daily News, a leading business newsletter published in English. He emphasised the role of the private sector in the recovery, the need for diversification of energy supplies and welcomed the efforts for deeper regional integration: “We are open to supporting initiatives for cooperation coming from within the region, particularly if they focus on concrete tangible results for the benefit of the citizens. We believe in the complementarity of such initiatives- if only, they help to maintain the dialogue. Given the region’s difficult historic legacy, this is not such a small thing.”
In an interview with SeeNews, Mr. Rigterink said that the EBRD remains committed to supporting the additional penetration of more large-scale renewables in Albania, particularly diversifying in wind and solar both under the auctions scheme as well as through private and commercial power purchase agreements or going forward on fully merchant basis.
Mr Rigterink concluded his tour on Friday with meetings with the leadership of Montenegro, where he told the national news agency MINA: “The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted that Montenegro needs to diversify its economy. The important tourism sector needs to diversify beyond the current ‘sun, sand and sea’ model. At the same time, information and communication technologies are fast-growing sectors.”
EBRD President at the Global Centre for Adaptation
EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso joined global leaders at the Global Center on Adaptation in Rotterdam to call for the coming COP26 meeting to elevate adaptation action onto an equal footing with efforts to cut emissions. “The need to increase financing for climate adaptation action is urgent. The ambition is clear; the imperative now is to deliver” the President said.
“Transition to net zero is a necessity, not an option”
Speaking at the European Forum Alpbach 2021, the EBRD President used a panel discussion for an urgent appeal for action to combat climate change: “The transition to a net zero world is a necessity, not an option”, she said during a discussion with the Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger, the Polish Minister for Climate and Environment Michał Kurtyka and Bank Raiffeisen International CEO Johann Strobl about “The Green Deal as seen from Central & Eastern Europe”. The EBRD President underlined: “The faster countries make this transition, the more competitive they will be.”
EBRD President at the Bled Strategic Forum
Combining bilateral meetings with leaders from central and south-eastern Europe and participation in a panel discussion, the EBRD President attended the traditional gathering in Bled. After a break for one year because of Covid-19 the Strategic Forum reconvened in the Slovenian lakeside town under special safety regulations. “The situation in many EU countries has been quite favorable because of the solidarity in the union and the help provided to those hit especially hard by the crisis,” she said.
The President also gave an interview to the national news agency STA and shared her vision with the official Gazette of the Bled Strategic Forum. "We need concentrated strategic action in green, digital and inclusion space. Without private sector participation, the progress there will never be sufficient,” she said.
Ukraine PM Shmyhal meets EBRD MD Patrone
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and EBRD Managing Director for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus Matteo Patrone discussed support for reforms in Ukraine. Shmyhal thanked the EBRD for the significant and systematic support provided for reforms in Ukraine.
Armenian leadership receives EBRD regional heads
The Finance Minister of Armenia, Tigran Khachatryan, received Catarina Bjorlin Hansen, EBRD Regional Director for the Caucasus, and Dimitri Gvindadze, EBRD Head of Armenia, to discuss cooperation priorities in the country. The EBRD representatives also met the Deputy Prime Minister of Armenia Suren Papikyan to discuss new types of joint activity.
Wolfgang Schläger new head of EBRD in Brussels
Wolfgang Schläger has started his new role as the EBRD’s leading representative at the EU in Brussels. Mr Schläger succeeds Florentine Hopmeier who now works in the cabinet of the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
Nora Kocsis heads EBRD in Central Europe
Nora Kocsis has been appointed the new Head of Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovak Republic and Slovenia for the EBRD. Based in the Slovak capital Bratislava, she will lead the Bank’s activities in this part of central Europe.
EBRD appoints Antoine Sallé de Chou new head of Morocco
The EBRD has appointed Antoine Sallé de Chou as its new head of operations in Morocco. Based in Casablanca, Mr Sallé de Chou succeeds Marie-Alexandra Veilleux-Laborie.
EBRD names Nodira Mansurova new head of Tunisia
Khalil Dinguizli new EBRD head of Tunisia
The EBRD has appointed Khalil Dinguizli new head of its operations in Lebanon, where he follows Gretchen Biery. A dual Tunisian and French national, Mr Dinguizli joined the Bank in 2014.
Learn more here
Project signings and agreements
Lending US$ 50 million to Air Astana
The EBRD is providing new funds to Kazakhstan’s flag carrier Air Astana for its investment and working capital needs with a multicurrency loan equivalent to US$ 50 million. The loan will help Air Astana develop its infrastructure and operations of its maintenance and training centre in Nur-Sultan with a full flight simulator for pilots.
Supporting sustainability of Kazakhstan’s power utility
The EBRD is pledging new funds to improve the financial sustainability of the Mangistau Regional Distribution Company (MREK), a major electricity distributor in Kazakhstan with a senior loan of up to KZT 4.9 billion (equivalent to €9.5 million) to restructure its balance sheet and increase its resilience to future foreign-exchange risks, as well as to the macroeconomic uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
EBRD €70 million loan to Albanian energy company OSHEE
The EBRD is providing a €70 million loan to the Albanian energy company Operatori I Shperndarjes se Energjise Elektrike (OSHEE) to address liquidity gaps caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The financing may also fund the construction of a modern, underground substation in central Tirana.
Financing energy efficiency in North Macedonia
In North Macedonia, the EBRD is providing a loan of €2 million to the local ProCredit Bank for on-lending to homeowners to invest in energy-saving measures, such as insulation, windows, heat pumps and solar. The credit line is part of the GEFF programme, co-financed by the EU and Austria.
Boosting green investments in Kosovo
The EBRD is boosting energy efficiency investments in Kosovo through a €2 million loan to Kreditimi Rural i Kosoves (KRK) to on-lend to homeowners and service providers to improve energy efficiency in residential buildings. The credit line is part of the GEFF programme, co-financed by the EU and Austria.
Supporting senior preferred bond issuance of LHV Group in Estonia
The EBRD invested €16 million in a €100 million senior preferred bond issuance by LHV Group, combining support for capital market development with green financing in Estonia. LHV Group is the leading financial group in the country.
Helping upgrade Kyiv district heating system
Residents of Kyiv will benefit from upgraded and more reliable provision of district heating and hot water thanks to a EBRD €140 million loan to Kyivteploenergo, the heating and hot water utility serving the capital of Ukraine. The loan will finance the modernisation of existing combined heat and power plants and selected boiler houses as well as the installation of a new dispatching and monitoring system.
Supporting Mongolia’s dairy producer Suu Milk
The EBRD and local lender XacBank are contributing to the development of dairy farming and processing in Mongolia by supporting the expansion of the country’s leading dairy company Suu Milk with a US$ 4.8 million loan to finance the expansion of production capacity and the renewal of the transport fleet, including the acquisition of new delivery trucks serving more than 2,500 nomadic herders across Mongolia.
Pledging fresh funds to expand operations of IMON International
In Tajikistan, the EBRD is continuing its support for the microlending institution IMON International with a US$ 4 million, which will help promote green investments and create new opportunities for women-led small businesses in the country.
EBRD, EU, GCF extend funding for SMEs in Armenia
Armenia’s private sector is set to benefit from new resources for green financing thanks to an US$ 8 million financial package to ArmswissBank put together by the EBRD in cooperation with the EU and the GCF to promote the private sector’s transition to more sustainable, low-carbon and climate-resilient practices.
Boosting competitiveness of local firms in Georgia
The EBRD and the EU are providing fresh funding to support the green transition of MSMEs in Georgia with a €25 million loan to Bank of Georgia for on-lending to local companies with a special focus on investment in green technologies.
Promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy in Egypt
The EBRD is boosting renewable energy and energy efficiency in Egypt with a US$ 25 million loan to the National Bank of Kuwait Egypt (NBKE). Fifteen per cent of the total loan amount is being co-financed by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to be on lent to Egyptian SMEs and households to finance investments to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
Boosting trade in West Bank and Gaza
The EBRD is boosting Palestinian export and import activities with a US$ 5 million trade finance limit to Bank of Palestine, the largest bank in West Bank and Gaza, to issue guarantees in favour of confirming banks for pre-export and post-import financing.
The power of the sun
Summer heat is coming to an end and the days are getting shorter. Many of the EBRD’s regions, however, from the Balkans to Turkey and the southern and eastern Mediterranean, have sunny weather all year round. Together with donors like the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), Austria, Japan, Spain, and the European Union we are harnessing the power of solar. Read more
The EBRD has launched an online resource with legal and business guidance to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to enhance their response to new challenges following the Covid-19 pandemic. The project is funded with aid from the United Kingdom.
New monthly donor update is out
Supporting women entrepreneurs in Morocco, helping the plastic recycling industry in Egypt, Improving access to safe drinking water for Kyzyl-Kiya residents, and more…
EBRD in social media
We highlighted our support for Mongolia’s dairy producer Suu Milk
Ricardo Giacon wrote a blog post for the LSE on what economic complexity theory can tell us about the EU’s pandemic recovery and resilience plans
We promoted a piece from Craig Davies on the vital role for private sector in financing climate resilience
Subscribe to instant email updates on EBRD news about topics such as coronavirus and climate finance.