First visit by EBRD President Chakrabarti to West Bank and Gaza

By Nibal Zgheib

First visit by EBRD President Chakrabarti to West Bank and Gaza

For the first time since the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) decision in 2017 to expand its operations to the West Bank and Gaza, the EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti will visit Ramallah and Bethlehem on Tuesday, 13 March.

During his stay President Chakrabarti will meet the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, Minister of National Economy Abeer Odeh, Minister of Tourism Rula Maayeh, and the Governor of the Palestine Monetary Authority Azzam Shawwa.

At the start of his mission President Chakrabarti said: “I am delighted to visit the West Bank and Gaza and launch our first investment with the strong support of the authorities. We are committed to improving the business climate and to delivering tangible improvements in people’s lives by unleashing their economic potential.”

The EBRD delegation will include Heike Harmgart, EBRD Director, Eastern Mediterranean Region, who is also responsible for the Bank’s operations in Jordan and Lebanon.

In the West Bank and Gaza the EBRD will provide support to improve the competitiveness of the private sector as well as strengthen innovation, increase access to finance for small businesses, foster the sustainable supply of energy and promote private sector participation in energy efficiency and infrastructure.

The EBRD was established in 1991 with the goal of supporting the development of market economies and promoting 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 the West Bank and Gaza will belong, is currently the fast- growing region of EBRD operations with more than €6.7 billion in over 175 projects in less than six years.