The Slovak Republic is a recipient of EBRD investments and, since 2006, a donor to the EBRD. In keeping with this commitment, the Slovak Republic has recently made significant donations to both the multi-donor Western Balkans Fund and to the EBRD.
Jan Pociatek, the Slovak Finance Minister, and Horst Reichenbach, EBRD Vice President, speak about the Slovak - EBRD cooperation.
The Slovak Republic has just contributed €1 million to the EBRD in addition to its contribution to the multi-donor Western Balkans Fund. Why and where will this contribution be directed?
Jan Pociatek: Having experienced the transition from a central-governed to a fully market-oriented economy, the Slovak Republic understands the importance of transition. Therefore we have decided to share our knowledge with countries of our foreign policy priorities - Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, FYR Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
Over the past 15 years, the Slovak Republic benefited from the cooperation with international financial institutions such as the EBRD and the World Bank in receiving financial, technical and know-how assistance. The Slovak Republic has benefitted from EBRD support in the successful privatisation of banks, establishment of credit lines to support enterprises and the financial sector.
The Slovak Republic is set to play an important role in advancing global priorities for development objectives, and sharing lessons of experience and good practices with other countries that still face large development challenges.
The Slovak Republic has contributed to the EBRD's Western Balkans Fund the amount of €700 000. As the member of the Donor Assembly of Contributors we are enjoying close co-operation with traditional as well as emerging donors. This cooperation is giving us an opportunity to build our donor capacity.
How do you value cooperation with the Bank as a donor and a recipient of EBRD investments?
Jan Pociatek: The Slovak Republic has become one of the key central European emerging donors after its transition and integration processes towards OECD, NATO, the EU and euro area membership. We have a better chance to benefit from the huge experience of the EBRD and together with such a strong partner, we have an opportunity to influence aid flow and know-how transfer to those countries with whom we have close historical ties.
The Slovak Republic is one of the five new EU member states that became donors to the EBRD by contributing to the multi-donor Western Balkans Fund. How do you value its role as a donor?
Horst Reichenbach: It is very moving to see a country of operations become a donor, to see a country like the Slovak Republic that has received a lot in terms of EBRD investments, start to give to its neighbours. The Slovak Republic joined the EBRD's multi-donor Western Balkans Fund in 2006 and its contribution is not just financial but it is also bringing its depth of knowledge about the region. Together with other donors in the Fund, the Slovak Republic is working to approve funding for EBRD projects in the Western Balkans, which will contribute to better conditions and improved services for people in the region.