A digest of recent news from the EBRD
Launch of digital platform for micro businesses
The EBRD launched its free to use online learning platform, the Know How Academy, for micro and small businesses this week. It includes training and business advice on how to cope with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic and is designed to help around 10,000 small companies across 30 economies.
EBRD President calls for new approach to development financing
In a web discussion hosted by the Atlantic Council EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti said that the international community needs to revisit financing goals for the 2030 global development agenda in order to respond to the economic challenge of the coronavirus pandemic. “I personally think we need to go back to the drawing board and take a fresh look at the quantity of financing we need”, he said. The President also stressed: “The EBRD is committed to financing the post-corona recovery”,
Coping with Covid-19
In a new series of engagements, EBRD Chief Economist Beata Javorcik explored various aspects of the impact of current crisis. In a EBRD Economics Talks webinar under the title “COVID as a Wakeup Call” she explored with Professor Philippe Aghion from Collège de France why some countries managed the crisis better than others and how the world can minimise the scope and duration of the recession.
She also joined former EBRD Chief Economists Sergei Guriev and Erik Berglof as well as Selva Demiralp of Koc University and the former Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia, Kori Udovički, in an LSE Institute of Global Affairs webinar on the “The Political Economy of COVID-19” and said: “The scars of Covid? I hope it will generate support for public measures which have been long overdue”, for instance tackling inequality and reform of taxation.
In an interview with Deutsche Welle, she warned that the biggest threat to globalisation is not from the pandemic itself but from potential policy changes such as protectionism and trade wars,
Delivering new projects
The EBRD supported the liquidity and working capital needs of Ukraine’s leading cereal producer Lantmännen Axa. A €3 million loan will help ensure the firm’s financial stability through coronavirus.
The EBRD and Eurobank Srbija teamed up to increase the availability of finance for Serbian SMEs. A €40 million loan will provide local small businesses with much needed resources to cope with the coronavirus pandemic impact.
The Bank’s €5 million loan to Moldova’s Mobiasbanca - OTP Group will stimulate lending to privately owned micro, small and medium-sized enterprises affected by the coronavirus crisis
Belgrade waste-to-energy project reaches financial close
Addressing one of the biggest environmental dangers in Europe, work is underway in Belgrade for the construction of a new landfill which will provide the 1.7 million inhabitants of the Serbian capital with a modern waste management system. The largest PPP project in Serbia to date also includes the construction of a 103 MW waste-to-energy facility. Having reached financial close, lenders have started disbursements to secure the timely implementation of the €370 million project.
Celebrating 10 years of EBRD TFP e-learning
The EBRD’s award-winning Trade Finance e-learning Programme celebrates its 10th anniversary. It is the largest online educational platform provided by any international financial institution. To date it has offered advanced training modules for more than 8,000 students from 415 banks and companies across the EBRD’s regions.
Read here a case study of how the programme is helping banks in Mongolia to continue working in the current circumstances:
Green projects and initiatives
The EBRD supported a solar tender won by the French renewables company Voltalia to build a 140 MW solar plant. The winning bid of €24.89 was less than half price ceiling of €55, and the lowest price in the Balkans. The tender followed extensive preparatory support by the EBRD, including technical assistance and policy dialogue.
Moldova’s capital Chisinau joined the EBRD Green Cities programme. A Green City Action Plan approved by the city council will pave the way for much needed infrastructure investments aimed at improving lives in the country’s largest municipality.
EBRD-ILO policy advice in North Macedonia
The EBRD and the International Labour Organization (ILO) joined forces to produce a report for North Macedonia’s Economic and Social Council how to create employment and protect livelihoods and businesses during and after the coronavirus crisis. The paper recommends eleven concrete measures to address key issues.
Georgian healthcare services provider and EBRD client Evex Clinics is producing local language textbooks for medical nurses to develop their professional skills.
Cyprus-based EBRD client Dağlı Trading tripled the production of sanitisers to meet growing demand caused by the spread of coronavirus infection in the country.
The EBRD organised a series of webinars on remote working and online sales practices for SMEs in Turkmenistan. The initiative is supported by the EU.