A digest of recent news from the EBRD
- EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti this week called upon the international community to join forces to combat the coronavirus pandemic. “We have a collective responsibility”, the EBRD head said at the meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council on Wednesday which he joined via video link. With its initial €1 billion Solidarity Package, approved on 13 March, the EBRD took a first step to address urgent needs of businesses and economies. “Demand for emergency financing is huge,” President Chakrabarti said, adding that the Bank was already working on a second phase of its programme.
- The EBRD’s latest economic assessment of the impact of the coronavirus predicted a significant contraction in output across its regions. A swift recovery, while possible, is not guaranteed, according to the latest assessment from the Bank’s economists. The extent of the contraction and the speed of recovery will depend largely on the duration of measures to contain the virus, which even now is expected to result in the greatest disruption to global economic activity since the Second World War, the report said.
- For the Western Balkans, Belgrade-based EBRD Regional Director Zsuzsanna Hargitai and Lead Regional Economist Peter Tabak discussed with local journalists including the daily Danas daily and Ekapija, the leading business portal, how the region will be affected and how the EBRD’s Solidarity package works.
- The EBRD economists’ report also made clear that vast public spending across the globe to combat the pandemic created an opportunity to embrace the green agenda and support an acceleration towards low carbon growth.
- The EBRD recorded a very powerful set of financial results for 2019. A sharp rise in net profit, its prudent levels of capitalisation and liquidity underscore the Bank’s financial resilience as it responds to the coronavirus challenge.
- The EBRD and LSE Institute of Global Affairs are inviting to a round table on 16 April, at which Chief Economist Beata Javorcik will discuss the impact of coronavirus on the global economy with former chief economists, Erik Berglöf, Sergei Guriev and Lord Nicholas Stern, moderated by Communications Managing Director Jonathan Charles.
- The EBRD has continued to reach out to governments in its countries of operations, working out how best to cooperate in the fight against coronavirus and to flesh out details of our pledge to stand by our partners. In a telephone call this week with Georgian Minister of Finance, Ivane Matchavariani, EBRD officials including Managing Director Matteo Patrone pledged urgent financing to help local firms.
- EBRD President Chakrabarti also reached out to Uzbekistan, speaking to the country’s Minister of Investments and External Trade Sardor Umurzakov. In the course of the conversation, President Chakrabarti made clear that the EBRD is considering a financing package of US$ 220 million to four local banks in Uzbekistan. The funds are to be used to support small- and medium-sized business and trade finance.
- Check out our video here where Central Asia Managing Director André Küüsvek explains what the Bank is doing the region.
- More EBRD partners are stepping up to the coronavirus challenge. After we reported last week on how Turkish firms are displaying their invention and resourcefulness in switching production, take a look at what Ukrainian companies are doing.
- Meanwhile, in Morocco, the EBRD and the EU stepped up their efforts to support small and medium-sized enterprises managed and owned by business women in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, with women entrepreneurs from the country taking part in a series of online training sessions for digital marketing.
- The EBRD family shared photos of relatives & friends who are on the frontline in the fight against coronavirus.
- Our Women in Business programme partner Hülya Imer has re-purposed production lines of her cosmetic firm Mara to produce lemon cologne, made with 80% alcohol, which in Turkey is being embraced for disinfectant properties.
- Chirina, a large poultry farm in Georgia increase its production by 50%, making customers more confident in food supplies at times of Covid-19.
- Another Women in Business programme partner from Serbia, Kreston MDM offer free tax calculators to support SMEs hit by the crisis.
- Cleaning detergents seller Bi Group in Kyrgyz Republic has now expanded its range of products and started production of antiseptics.
- Mongolia’s sole certified producer of 3-layers medical masks Munhiin Tun are busy making masks available and affordable again by producing 150,000/day, x4 increase.