EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti will visit the Czech and Slovak Republics on Monday and Tuesday for talks with the authorities and business representatives. The meetings will focus on business cooperation and the economic development of the countries.
In the Czech Republic Sir Suma will meet Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, Minister of Finance Andrej Babiš and local businesses. The EBRD stopped making new investments in the Czech Republic in 2007, but the country has remained a shareholder in the Bank. The EBRD still has a portfolio in the Czech Republic which it manages, and the Bank is available to work with Czech companies and consultants in countries where it invests.
In the Slovak Republic President Chakrabarti will meet with the Minister of Finance and EBRD Governor Peter Kažimír and representatives of the banking and corporate sectors. To date, the EBRD has invested around €2 billion across more than 125 projects in the Slovak Republic.
Today, the focus of the Bank’s activities in the Slovak Republic is on energy efficiency and small business support. However, major infrastructure projects in the country, such as the construction of a modern road network, benefited from direct EBRD involvement. In 2013 the EBRD subscribed to the first infrastructure project bond issue in the region when it acquired bonds in the R1 Motorway under a public-private partnership scheme.
In recent years supporting sustainable energy has become a special focus of the EBRD’s work in the Slovak Republic. In total, the Bank has invested €260 million since 2007 under a variety of successful frameworks for energy efficiency investments to small businesses, housing associations and municipalities. The first round of the EBRD-funded Slovak Sustainable Energy Finance Facility alone financed 687 small projects with a total of €150 million.
Going forward the EBRD remains committed to continuing its activities in the Slovak Republic by providing expertise and funding for as long as the Bank can play a role in the country’s successful development with a vibrant private sector.