The EBRD will hold its 25th Annual Meeting and Business Forum in London on 11-12 May 2016, an opportunity to reflect on the remarkable progress that the emerging economies in its regions have achieved over the last quarter of a century.
The EBRD is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its creation in 1991 to help foster the transition to market economies, initially in post-communist states.
It now promotes transformation in 36 countries spanning three continents – from Mongolia in Central Asia to Morocco on the shores of Atlantic Ocean, from Estonia on the Baltic to Egypt on the Mediterranean.
At a roundtable discussion on 12 May, the EBRD’s Board of Governors, representing its 67 shareholders, will look at how the EBRD can help revitalise growth in the EBRD regions after a a slowdown from the period of rapid expansion in the early days of transition.
They will assess the role of investment in infrastructure and in the green economy in this reponse to more subdued growth. They will also look at how to make long-term growth more equitable and inclusive.
The Governors will decide at a session on 11 May who will be President of the EBRD for the next four years.
Also on 11 May, the EBRD’s economists will present their latest forecasts for economies in the EBRD regions and assess whether there is scope for some cautious optimism after five consecutive years of economic slowdown.
While Governors debate the EBRD’s insitutional outlook, delegates to the annual conference will discuss those questions that are most relevant to the EBRD’s activities at the Annual Meeeting’s Business Forum, this year entitled “‘Influencing Change- the Next 25 Years’.
The first discussion brings together “Two (past and present) Finance Ministers”. Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan, Chair of the Board of Governors, will be in conversation with Leszek Balcerowicz, who guided Poland’s economy as finance minister in the very early days of transition.
Dr. Balcerowicz has just been appointed advisor to Ukrainian President Poroshenko to help navigate a path through that country’s economic challenges.
Following the EBRD’s decision to scale up its climate finance activities, climate expert Lord Stern will assess what still needs to be done to deliver the 2015 Paris Climate agreement in a session entitled “In the wake of COP2”
In a third session, the 2015 Nobel Peace laureates, Tunisia’s National Dialogue Quartet, will reflect on the successes and shortcomings of political and social developments over the past five years in the Arab world.
Oher panels will focus on the challenges facing small and medium sized enterprises, the progress towards the creation of a European Energy Union and, in the wake of the publication of the EBRD’s first Gender Strategy, a debate on “Why Gender Equality Matters”.
The EBRD has had a strong start to 2016 after delivering a record €9.4 billion in investments in 2015 and it will continue to roll out a high level of investment in 2016, twinned with support for structural reforms.
Its current strategy aimed at “reigniting transition” is government by three overriding priorities:
- ensuring economies are more resilient to major external shocks – supporting reforms to improve the investment climate, increasing social inclusion, bolstering SMEs that help create jobs, developing local capital and local currency markets.
- promoting integration, by supporting investments that strengthen economic, financial and infrastructure links within individual countries and across national borders.
- addressing global and regional challenges, such as resource efficiency, combating climate change, and increasing energy and food security.