Mumbai, the commercial heart of India.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has teamed up with a leading Indian industry group in order to increase joint investments between the EBRD and Indian corporations in regions where the development bank is active.
The EBRD’s First Vice President Phil Bennett and Chandrajit Banerjee, the Director General of the Confederation of Indian Industry, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), in New Delhi on 6 April that will strengthen the cooperation between two organisations and facilitate co-financing opportunities.
The EBRD was established in 1991 to support the transition to market economies of countries in eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. It has since extended its geographic reach and is also working to bolster the private sector in Turkey and in countries in North Africa and the Middles East.
Speaking during the Annual Meeting of the CII in New Delhi, Mr Bennett said he was very pleased to be signing an agreement that would strengthen the already close links between the EBRD and Indian industry.
“It is very important for us to bring the expertise of Indian corporations to the support of countries that are still making the transition to market economies,” he said.
EBRD countries of operations would benefit from the transfer of skills from world class Indian companies while the EBRD was happy to share its strong local knowledge with firms that were either moving into the EBRD regions for the first time or which want to expand their operations there, he added.
Mr Bennett was accompanied by EBRD Director Nandita Parshad, who is responsible for the Bank’s relations with India.
The EBRD has already had a number of successful investments in cooperation with Indian companies, but there was scope to do much more, Mr Bennett said. The Bank has so far invested a total of over €870 million together with Indian firms.
Last month, the EBRD reached an important milestone in its investment with the Tata group in the Shuakhevi hydropower plant in Georgia, which is helping the country make the most of its abundant water resources and achieve greater energy independence.
The EBRD has also worked in Georgia with the JSW steel group, with whom it invested in a steel mill in the town of Rustavi and in Russia where it teamed up with Tata Beverages.
The EBRD also has a strong relationship with SREI Leasing and has cooperated with the company on its Moscow operations.