Lebanon has become a shareholder of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) with a view to becoming a recipient of the Bank’s investments and advisory services.
Lebanon becomes the 5th member country in the EBRD’s southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region, joining Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia, where the EBRD provides support for policy reform and has been investing since 2012. In addition, the EBRD Board of Governors in May also approved the Bank’s engagement in the West Bank and Gaza for an initial period of five years to support the development of the economy with investments through trust funds.
EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti welcomed Lebanon as the Bank’s 68th shareholder today, saying the Bank was committed to serving the country, its economy and its people: “We are very proud and happy to welcome Lebanon to our Bank and fully committed to engage in the country quickly and decisively,” he said. “The EBRD has financial resources and skills which it can apply in Lebanon for the benefit of the country, its economy and its people.”
Looking ahead to Lebanon becoming a full country of operations, the EBRD expects to seek opportunities to provide support for private sector competitiveness, to promote a sustainable supply of energy and to enhance the quality and efficiency of public service delivery.
The EBRD’s Board of Governors, representing the Bank’s shareholders, are now expected to vote on Lebanon becoming a country of operations.
In its application to become an EBRD member, the Lebanese authorities said the Bank’s support would play an important role in developing sustainable economic growth in the country by strengthening key sectors of the economy and contributing to reforms.
To date, the Bank has invested some €5.2 billion in 130 projects across the SEMED region in natural resources, financial institutions, agribusiness, manufacturing and services as well as infrastructure projects such as power, municipal water and wastewater and upgrading transport services.