The President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Sir Suma Chakrabarti, has concluded a visit to Budapest during which he attended an EBRD conference on “Reinvigorating Growth, Competitiveness and Investment - The EU from the Baltics, through Central Europe, to the Mediterranean” and held several bilateral meetings.
In his opening address to the conference – organised by the Bank with support from the Hungarian government and attended by more than 300 participants – President Chakrabarti today underlined the strong potential of the countries where the EBRD invests and called on businesses and policy-makers “to realise that potential”.
Improvements in competitiveness are key to achieving this, the President said. He added: “With more growth, enhanced competitiveness and new investment, the EU countries where we work will secure their rightful place in the wider world.”
He acknowledged a current “backlash against globalisation” but stressed: “Abandoning globalisation is not the answer, adapting it is.”
On the sidelines of the conference, President Chakrabarti met the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who also addressed the conference, as well as the Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev and the Vice President of the European Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis, with whom he shared a high-level panel.
During his stay in Budapest the EBRD head also met Hungary’s Minister for National Economy, Mihály Varga, the Governor of the National Bank, György Matolcsy, the CEO of Hungary’s largest bank ,OTP, Sándor Csányi, and the CEO of Erste Bank Hungary, Radovan Jelasity. The EBRD acquired a stake in Erste Bank Hungary this year. Sir Suma also engaged with international and local media in interviews.
The EBRD President was joined in Budapest by a delegation of senior EBRD management led by Alain Pilloux, Acting Vice President, Policy and Partnerships, and Vice President Designate, Banking; Sergei Guriev, Chief Economist; Jonathan Charles, Managing Director, Communications; Jean-Marc Peterschmitt, Managing Director, Chief Operating Office for Banking; Sylvia Gansser-Potts, Managing Director, Central and South-Eastern Europe; Vedrana Jelušić Kašić, Director, Regional Head of Croatia, Hungary, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia; and Graeme Hutchinson, Associate Director, Regional Head of Hungary and the Slovak Republic.