EBRD says YES to Ukraine

By Anton Usov

Churches in Ukraine

The EBRD is reaffirming is commitment to Ukraine with a senior delegation at the 11th Yalta European Strategy (YES) Annual Meeting in Kiev. First Vice President Phil Bennett, Chief Economist Erik Berglof, Managing Director Francis Malige and Country Director Sevki Acuner will attend the conference.

The event, which will bring together government representatives and major local and international investors, will also provide an important opportunity to expand and deepen contacts. According to the organisers the conference will be opened by the president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, the president of Estonia, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, and the president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz.

In response to the political changes in Ukraine earlier this year the EBRD is significantly stepping up its activities in Ukraine. The country’s commitment to fight corruption and improve the business climate, which was illustrated by it signing up to an Anti-Corruption Initiative in May this year, has been rewarded by increase of activities and investments by the Bank. It also allowed the EBRD to return as investor in public sector sovereign projects.

As a result the EBRD today is on track to deliver around €1 billion of new investments in Ukraine this year alone. Activities to date include a public sector road project and a private sector grain terminal in the port of Odessa.

The EBRD has also been traditionally active in agribusiness in Ukraine committing almost € 200 million to the sector since the beginning of 2014. The EBRD also agreed a special financing facility to protect existing corporate clients affected by the continuing difficult macroeconomic climate.

These efforts are being complemented by enhanced activities in policy dialogue. The EBRD has been asked by the Ukrainian authorities to mobilise backing for the newly-established National Reform Council.

The EBRD is also supporting reforms in Ukraine’s financial sector, using the Vienna Initiative platform to bring together all key stakeholders.