Sarajevo Annual Meeting sets stage for greater impact across emerging economies
The EBRD is aiming for record high investments of over €10 billion in 2019 as shareholders gather for the Bank’s Annual Meeting next week in Sarajevo.
The Bank has already pledged to raise both the quality and the quantity of its activities in its 38 economies, by deploying a comprehensive toolbox of investments, policy engagement and technical assistance.
After investing over €9.5 billion in each of the last two years, the Bank is looking to top the €10 billion marker for the first time in its 28-year history in 2019, with further increases expected in the following years.
In Sarajevo, the Bank’s Board of Governors, which represents its 69 shareholders, will be asked to approve the EBRD’s work programme to prepare the Bank’s strategy for the five years up to 2025 which will be formally signed off next year.
A key focus of the next strategy will be a reaffirmation of the EBRD’s commitment to its current countries of operations including how best to move toward a low carbon economy, build sustainable infrastructure; manage sustainable and smart cities; foster skills that meet the needs of private sector businesses; and leverage new technologies with all their transformative potential.
Specifically, the EBRD is looking to increase equity funding, put a greater emphasis on private sector lending and the mobilisation of private sector capital while also maintaining a high share of smaller, local projects, which tend to have a high transition impact.
Beyond this, the Bank’s shareholders will also be considering preparatory work on several possible uses for the Bank’s capital. Options include a possible crisis buffer, redemption to shareholders or engagement in new countries of operations.
Initially, any expansion would focus on the southern and eastern Mediterranean region, where the Bank has been investing since 2012. Subject to the approval of shareholders, Libya, Algeria and Syria could become members and EBRD recipient countries, when conditions allow.
At the same time, shareholders will make a decision in Sarajevo on whether analytical work should start on potential future options for limited and incremental expansion into new countries of operations outside the EBRD’s current geographic limits – including in Africa or other countries that are closely integrated with the Bank’s present geographical scope