EBRD President urges international community to boost support for Arab countries

By Anthony Williams
@ebrdtony

EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti called on the international community to step up efforts to support Arab countries seeking a more stable economic future.

Speaking in London at an Investment Conference for the Deauville Partnership nations, Sir Suma said work was underway to help the people of this region meet their aspirations for change.

But in opening remarks at the conference hosted with the British government and the Islamic Development Bank, the EBRD President stressed that there should be no illusions about the scale of the challenge.

“The needs are huge. Although the international community has committed a great deal, it will need to scale up its help if transition is to be successful,” he said.

The EBRD has extended its mandate to allow it to invest in countries in the southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED). Investments started flowing to the region late in 2012. The EBRD had responded swiftly and decisively to calls for support for the new region, Sir Suma said.

At the conference, Sir Suma made clear that increased private sector investment depended on economic stability and the development infrastructure, which needed support from the public sector.