EBRD newsletter 25 September

By EBRD  Press Office
@ebrd

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A digest of recent news from the EBRD

Bridge over troubled water

The EBRD expects to act as a bridge to maintain relations between the European Union and the United Kingdom after the Brexit transition ends, EBRD Acting President Jürgen Rigterink told The Times in an interview published on Monday. At the Annual Meeting in October, the Bank will decide on its strategic plan for the next five years with the goal to ensure that more than half of its investment has "a green angle", and elect a new president, he also said..

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Turkey surprise rate hike

EBRD Lead Economist Roger Kelly commented to the Reuters news agency on Turkey’s central bank’s surprise interest rate hike. The "bold" policy decision was welcome and showed "lessons may have been learned" from the 2018 currency crisis, he said. "With the lira steadily weakening in the face of real policy rates which are the lowest in the emerging market universe, and attempts to tighten policy using the interest rate corridor seemingly ineffective, the central bank needed to act."

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Uzbekistan’s reforms progressing

Aida Sitdikova, EBRD Director, Power and Energy, Central Asia spoke to bne Intellinews about recent developments in Uzbekistan, “The government has shown admirable commitment to reform and the progress has been fast,” she was quoted. The report draws a favourable picture of the reform process in the central Asian country, saying: The government is still working at top speed, but now it is starting to have something to show for all that effort.”

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Women in Business, the Moroccan Magazine highlighted the success of the EBRD in the country and the acceleration of its investments since 2017 when Marie-Alexandra Veilleux-Laborie became director of the Bank's office in Morocco.

2020 is a record year for the Bank in the country, signing over 770 million euros of projects in the Moroccan market. Ms Veilleux-Laborie, was quoted saying: "Our bank has, in general, been one of the fastest development financial institutions to define its response to the pandemic to support its countries of operations."

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Al ArabiyaNet reported about the EBRD’s support to the financial sector and the development of small businesses in Egypt. Khalid Hamza, the EBRD Deputy Head for Egypt, said that’s the Bank provided this year to this sector only US$ 850 million pf which US$ 500 million were credit line for on lending to small and medium-sized companies and US$ 350 million to foreign trade lines.

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Georgia joins the race to produce green hydrogen

In a deal signed this week, the EBRD agreed to provide technical cooperation support to assess the investment requirements in Georgia for green hydrogen generation, as well as to upgrade existing assets to transport blended hydrogen to end-users. The technical cooperation will run over the next few years, setting out a timeline for potential investments after that.

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Boosting competitiveness of glass producer in Kosovo

In Kosovo, the EBRD – with support from the EU – helped the glass company Termopan to modernise its equipment and operations, resulting in further business growth under its SME Competitiveness Programme. The goal is to boost competitiveness and trade capacity through compliance with EU environmental, occupational health and safety, product quality and safety standards.

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Producing smart hospital beds in Bosnia and Herzegovina

After having seen Denis’ company on television, a Bosnian family contacted his wielding company C.J. to customise a hospital bed for their son, who was bedridden due to a severe illness. With EBRD and EU support, the company produced the first ‘Made in BiH’ hospital bed.

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Supporting municipal infrastructure in Jordan

In Amman, the Jordanian Ministry of Water and Irrigation is ready to start building 32km of pipes connecting the city’s sewerage system to the As Samra waste water treatment plant, where it will be treated and used for irrigation. The EBRD is supporting this project together with the United Kingdom.

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Project signings

Empowering Palestinian entrepreneurs

The EBRD is strengthening Palestinian micro and small enterprises with a US$ 3 million loan to Palestine for Credit and Development (FATEN), the largest non-profit microfinance institution in the West Bank and Gaza.

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Boosting trade in Morocco

The EBRD is boosting trade in Morocco with a US$ 20 million trade finance limit to Crédit Agricole du Maroc, a leading local bank, to issue guarantees in favour of confirming banks and to provide cash financing for pre-export and post-import financing and for local distribution.

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Boosting Raiffeisen Bank Albania’s lending capacity

In Albania, a risk-sharing facility of up to €50 million signed by the EBRD and Raiffeisen Bank Albania, one of the largest banks in the country, will provide businesses with better access to finance.

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EBRD in other news

EBRD Head of Mongolia Hannes Takacs was quoted in an article in New Europe’s: “EBRD and GCF boost climate financing for Mongolia.”

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The Regional Head of the Advisory Services for Businesses, Biljana Scekic, spoke to the business information platform Starter in Bosnia and Herzegovina about the EBRD’s Star Venture programme, which targets promising start-ups. Accelerators and consultants to unleash their potential.

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EBRD Managing Director for the southern and eastern Mediterranean region Heike Harmgart published an article with Egypt’s Minister for International Cooperation, Rania Al-Mashat, about “Recovering Better: The Role of Multilateralism for a Sustainable and Resilient Restart”

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The EBRD featured in Turkey’s Daily Sabah newspaper in a story that states that Turkey’s energy imports from Azerbaijan via the TANAP gas pipeline have increased by 25 per cent. The EBRD is part of the financing consortium.

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The trade publication Renewables Now reported on a new 76-MWp solar plant in Kazakhstan, co-financed by the EBRD.

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The EBRD in social media

Mark Davis, EBRD Head of Romania and Bulgaria, congratulated Romania on its advancement to emerging market status.

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The EBRD published a new video on its support for small businesses, featuring Claudio Viezzoli, EBRD Managing Director for SME Finance and Development.

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The Bank celebrated an important milestone reaching 30,000 SME advisory projects.

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Barbara Rambousek, EBRD Director for Gender and Economic Inclusion, spoke at a webinar by the Climate Investment Fund on Just Transition, highlighting the Bank’s efforts to support green and inclusive growth across its regions.

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The EBRD held a National Gender Workshop in Tajikistan, which considered how to support equal opportunities for women and men to access climate finance.

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Upcoming events

The EBRD will publish its latest growth forecast. Regional Economic Prospects, on 1 October 2020, 0700 BST.

Follow the EBRD Annual Meeting on 7 and 8 October 2020. More information here

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