EBRD newsletter 18 December

By EBRD  Press Office
@ebrd

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Part of Ukraine’s road network which will benefit from a €450 million EBRD loan to state road agency Ukravtodor

€450 million loan for Ukraine’s road infrastructure

Supporting two major goals of the government of Ukraine – improving the national road infrastructure and fighting corruption – the EBRD is providing a €450 million loan to the state road agency Ukravtodor. Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said: “The EBRD consistently supports investment projects in Ukraine and the government is grateful for this partnership. We are interested in infrastructure development not only because it makes people’s lives more comfortable, but it also creates a multiplying effect for economic growth."

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EBRD and EIB anti-corruption statement

Combatting corruption in Ukraine is crucial to both achieving public trust in state institutions and attaining stronger, sustainable and inclusive economic growth, the EBRD and EIB declared in a joint statement.

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Almaty ring road project voted “Deal of the Year”

The EBRD-supported Almaty ring road project (BAKAD) has been voted “Deal of the Year” by the trade publication Project Finance International (PFI). The Bank has played a major role in organising financing for the construction of a 66-kilometre ring road around Almaty and brought the US$ 585 million-deal to a financial close, making it the largest public-private partnership project to date in Kazakhstan and central Asia. The project won the PFI 2020 award in the transport category.

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EBRD joins Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles

The EBRD this week became a signatory to the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles, the first global guiding framework for banks, insurers and investors to finance a sustainable blue economy. The signing ceremony brought together EBRD Vice Presidents Anne-Marie Straathof and Pierre Heilbronn with Jessica Smith from the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEPFI).

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EBRD and OECD to strengthen cooperation

EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso and OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría signed a Memorandum of Understanding this week as the organisation was marking its 60th anniversary. Both sides commit to sharing information and knowledge, coordinating policy messages and launching mutually agreed initiatives in strategic priority areas such as private-sector development, the green economy and sustainable and inclusive development, and public and corporate governance.

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Winners of 2020 BBC News Ukraine Book awards announced

BBC News Ukraine announced the winners of its 2020 Book of the Year awards, presented in partnership with the Cultural Programme of the EBRD.

Serhii Serhiyovych Saigon’s “Yupak” was named as BBC Book of the Year, Ulyana Chuba’s “Med i Pashtet – fantastichni vitrohony” (“Honey and Pate – Fantastic Scatterbrains”) as BBC Children’s Book of the Year, and Oksana Zabuzhko’s “Planeta Polyn” (“Planet Wormwood”) as the winner in the BBC Book of the Year–Essays category.

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Project signings

EBRD facilitates expansion of Uzbekistan’s Healthline

In Uzbekistan, the EBRD is stepping up efforts to support local manufacturers in Central Asia’s most populous state. A senior local currency loan of up to US$ 2.8 million in Uzbek sum equivalent will allow Healthline, a leading domestic producer and trader of disposable medical goods, to launch a third production line dedicated to the manufacture of single-use medical gloves. The funds in local currency will protect the borrower from foreign-exchange-related risks.

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Serbia completes modernisation of water and wastewater network in Subotica

In Serbia, the city of Subotica is now equipped with a modern water and wastewater network and facilities that allows the city with a population of 140,000 to connect around 12,000 more citizens to the sewerage network, bringing coverage up to 60 per cent of the population thanks to a decade-long engineering endeavour supported by the EBRD, the EU and bilateral donors under the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF).

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The EBRD’s Regional Director, Western Balkans, Zsuzsanna Hargitai, visited the city.

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Financing better infrastructure in Western Balkans

The EBRD, EU and bilateral donors are stepping up support for vital infrastructure improvements in the Western Balkans. Donors are pooling resources through the WBIF and have approved €77.6 million in investment grants and technical cooperation for projects, supported by a further €204 million in EBRD finance.

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Tremend and Vivre Deco pioneer digitalisation in Romania

In Romania, two of the Bank’s Blue Ribbon companies, Tremend and Vivre Deco, leveraged digital technologies to build resilient businesses, with support from the EBRD's Small Business Impact Fund and the European Union.

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Strengthening small businesses in Tunisia

In Tunisia, the EBRD is strengthening small businesses with a €5 million loan to Arab Tunisian Lease (ATL Leasing) to increase access to finance for small businesses, with support by the EU Initiative for Financial Inclusion, which helps MSMEs in the southern and eastern Mediterranean become more competitive and grow.

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Boosting green economy and value chains in Morocco

In Morocco, the EBRD – supported by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) – is promoting the competitiveness of small businesses and investments in the green economy with the provision of a comprehensive financial package of up to €10 million to Bank of Africa – BMCE Group.

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Chisinau landfill revamp financed by EBRD, EIB, EU, its members, Moldova and Norway

The Moldovan capital Chisinau’s landfill will be cleaned up and the site upgraded to EU standards, thanks to a joint investment. This comprises a €9 million loan to the municipality from the EBRD, a €5 million investment grant from the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P) fund and another €9 million from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

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Donor stories

Kazakh veterinary medicine producer Antigen enters new markets

In Kazakhstan, twelve new animal vaccines have been developed by the research and production enterprise Antigen, an EBRD advisory client. Thanks to a project funded by the Kazakhstan government, the vaccines will be sold abroad. With the help of international advisers, the company was able to conform to the requirements of globally recognised Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), ensuring vaccine accreditation.

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Delivering tools for distance learning in Tangier

In Morocco, the EBRD and the EU helped the Anglo-Moroccan School digitalise its operations through the cutting-edge app Laxial.

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Online learning takes off at Gafurov medical college in Tajikistan

In Tajikistan, together with the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi), the EBRD helped Gafurov College pilot an online teaching software and implement new tools for a more effective learning system.

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EBRD training for SMEs flourishes online amid pandemic

More than 15,000 business professionals in countries where the EBRD invests have participated in trainings and business mentoring sessions delivered online by the Bank in 2020.

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Scaling up small business support in Eastern Partnership countries

The EBRD and EU are scaling up support for small businesses in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine (E5P) following the coronavirus pandemic. Backed by €5 million in EU grant funding, the Bank’s advisory services address SMEs needs with a new programme to adopt digital technologies.

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Media highlights

Development Finance

In an article for fDI magazine, EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso set out her vision as to how multilateral development banks can support the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. “Overcoming the longer-term consequences of the pandemic will take money, time and relentless focus. It will also require addressing fundamental questions, perhaps with more imagination. This includes climate change, rising inequality and the future of trade in a way that makes economies more competitive, resilient, inclusive and green at the same time. Harnessing the digital revolution to promote more integration and better governance will also be a key challenge of the next decade,” she wrote.

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Just Transition

The EBRD will continue to support the energy transition in the western Balkans, supporting  Kosovo in its attempt to start the first round of renewable capacity auctions, Albania in concluding its second auction and advocating for Serbia to develop a competitive auctioning platform, EBRD senior banker Anes Jusic said in an interview with Argus Media.

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EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso attended the Montreal Conference for a discussion on how to move towards a more resilient global economy

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Looking forward to becoming a majority green bank, the EBRD is highlighting its best green projects

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Belgrade’s #Vinca landfill project – co-financed by EBRD and IFC – was awarded Gold for Best Utilities Project 2020 by Partnerships Bulletin

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Season’s Greetings

The Newsletter team wishes all readers Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. The next summary of EBRD news will be published on Friday, 15 January 2021.

 

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