EBRD Vice President, in eastern Ukraine, pledges financing for projects to improve lives

By Olga Rosca

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Our VP Alain Pilloux and MD for Ukraine, Matteo Patrone meet the President of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelenskyi 

  • EBRD ready to maintain high level of investment in Ukraine, including country’s less developed and more vulnerable regions
  • Macroeconomic stability, predictability of legal, regulatory and governance frameworks, implementation of reforms and rule of law key to attracting further financing
  • Bank signs six agreements that will result in projects that impove lives

EBRD Vice President Alain Pilloux, on a visit to the city of Mariupol, in south-eastern Ukraine, has pledged support for infrastructure development in Ukraine, including in its more vulnerable regions, to help improve the quality of life there.

He said the Bank’s investment in Ukraine has exceeded €1 billion in the first 10 months of 2019 as the country has accelerated reforms, restored macroeconomic stability and revived the economic growth.

The EBRD is the largest institutional investor in Ukraine and has to date invested €14.6 billion in the Ukrainian economy through more than 430 projects. The Bank is also an active financier of cities east of Kyiv. It has previously provided loans to the municipalities of Kharkiv, Dnipro, Mariupol, Mikolaev, Kherson and Kryvyi Rih helping to upgrade their public transport networks.

Vice President Pilloux said: “The EBRD is strongly committed to Ukraine and we stand ready to maintain the same high level of impactful investment across its regions. For that to happen we need to see macroeconomic stability, predictability and clarity of the legal, regulatory and governance frameworks, the implementation of the recently passed laws and vigorous work to ensure the rule of law, including the pursuit of the judiciary reform and the effectiveness of anti-corruption institutions.”

He called on the Ukrainian state to throw its weight behind the effort to recover the assets of the country’s largest lender PrivatBank, which was nationalised in 2016 after fraudulent lending practices resulted into a US$5.5 billion gap on its balance sheet.

Mr Pilloux was speaking at the RE:Think. Invest in Ukraine investment forum held at the initiative of the Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky.

The one-day event brought together the Ukrainian authorities, business community, foreign investors, diplomats and the media. It focused on investment needs in the less developed and more vulnerable regions of eastern Ukraine.

Demonstrating its continuous engagement in the east of the country, the Bank has provided a €10 million loan to the city of Kherson. The municipality will buy 50 new, modern and environmentally friendly trolleybuses. The European Union is supporting the project with a €1.5 million investment grant.

Furthermore, the city of Kryvyi Rih has joined the EBRD’s fast-expanding €1 billion urban sustainability programme Green Cities, becoming the fourth Ukrainian city to do so. The programme offers tangible support to help cities address their environmental issues and improve the quality of life of their residents.

The Sea of Azov region will have a more reliable electricity supply when regional electricity infrastructure is upgraded. The EBRD has announced it is joining forces with Ukraine’s Ministry of Energy and Environmental Protection and the national energy company Ukrenergo to work on the project.

The Bank has also pledged to work with the government of Ukraine to create an enabling legal, regulatory and financing framework for a large programme to build regional roads. Vice President Pilloux signed an agreement in this regard with Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk. The first loan worth €25 million is expected to finance a road network of Kherson Oblast and will serve as a model for similar projects.

The Bank has also committed to work with the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Ukrainian Railways company to help transform Ukrzaliznytsia, as it is known in Ukraine, with a view of preparing it for a successful initial public offering. Ukrzaliznytsia will be the first state-owned enterprise in the country to list shares.

Matteo Patrone, EBRD Managing Director for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, said: “The agreements we signed in Mariupol will result in specific investment projects. They aim to help transform a key state company, attract much-needed foreign investment into the state-owned sector and finance the development of sustainable infrastructure. The projects focused on regional development will help the smooth operation of local businesses and will improve the quality of life in eastern Ukraine and the Azov region.”

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