For the first time since the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) decided to expand its operations to Lebanon in 2017, the Bank’s head, President Suma Chakrabarti, will visit Beirut on Thursday 15 March.
During his stay President Chakrabarti will meet the President of Lebanon, Michel Aoun; Prime Minister, Saad Hariri; Speaker of the Parliament of Lebanon, Nabih Berri; Minister of Finance, Ali Hassan Khalil; and the Governor of the Central Bank, Riad Salameh.
At the start of his mission President Chakrabarti said: “I am delighted to visit Lebanon and launch our first investment in the country. We are grateful to the Lebanese authorities for their support. I would like to take this opportunity to express our strong commitment and firm desire to make a difference in this important country for the Middle East region.”
The EBRD delegation will include Johannes Koskinen, EBRD Board Director for Lebanon; Heike Harmgart, EBRD Director, Eastern Mediterranean Region; and Gretchen Biery, Senior Adviser for Lebanon.
Lebanon became a recipient of EBRD investment in September 2017, joining Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia as part of the Bank’s southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region, where the EBRD has been investing and engaged in policy since 2012. In May 2017 the West Bank and Gaza also became recipients of EBRD investment.
The EBRD was established in 1991 with the goal to support the development of market economies and promote the private sector. Having started in central and eastern Europe, today the Bank operates in 38 economies across three continents from Morocco to Mongolia and Estonia to Egypt.
To date, the Bank has invested about €120 billion in more than 5,000 projects. The southern and eastern Mediterranean region, to which Lebanon belongs, is currently the fast-growing region of EBRD operations with more than €6.7 billion in over 175 projects in less than six years.