A digest of recent news from the EBRD.
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EBRD President visits Turkey
The President of the EBRD, Odile Renaud-Basso visited Turkey this week. In her meetings with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Minister of Treasury and Finance and EBRD Governor Lütfi Elvan, and Central Bank Governor Sahap Kavcioglu, Ms Renaud-Basso stressed the importance of macroeconomic stability, credible and independent institutions and a predictable business climate for the development of the private sector.
Ms Renaud-Basso also underlined the EBRD’s support for Turkish municipalities in meetings with the Mayors of Ankara, Istanbul and Gaziantep. Along with Izmir, the three cities have joined the EBRD Green Cities programme, which helps address the enormous environmental challenges presented by urban conurbations.
She held discussions with several small businesses, including women-run companies, which benefitted from the EBRD’s support, and met civil society organisations.
Ms Renaud-Basso also reiterated the Bank’s commitment to help develop decarbonisation strategies and finance the country’s green transition.
Pledging €600 million in new financing for Turkish women-led firms
The EBRD is making available €600 million in new financing for Turkish women entrepreneurs. The funds will be channelled through local banks and lent to eligible women-run businesses under the Bank’s expanded Women in Business programme.
EBRD Transition Report 2021-22 ‒ System Upgrade: Delivering the Digital Dividend
Digitalisation will remain one of the key forces shaping our world. The Transition Report 2021-22 explores how economies in the EBRD regions can deliver the digital dividend, both during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond. Building on rich sources of data, it introduces a new index of digital transformation and highlights digital divides across and within countries. The report looks at how addressing these divides will be vital to the success of economies.
Lack of trust and low levels of digital skill constrain remote working
The EBRD conducted a survey of employees in 15 economies to find out why, during the Covid-19 pandemic, there had been lower levels of remote working in the regions where the Bank operates. It found that fewer people than expected had worked from home, even when they had the type of job that made remote working possible.
Transition Report launch event
Beata Javorcik, Oleksandr Bornyakov, Dina Matta, Daron Acemoğlu and Toomas Hendrik Ilves discussed digitalisation, the digital divides in EBRD countries, artificial intelligence and more during the report’s launch event live streamed on YouTube.
EBRD adopts first Digital Approach
The EBRD adopted its inaugural digital approach to advancing transition to address the urgent need for economies to embrace rapid technological change and overcome the challenges exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The document sets out a comprehensive framework on how the Bank will use its three instruments – investment, policy engagement and advisory services – to support the digital transition in the economies where it invests.
Flagship EBRD Green Cities doubles in size
Finance for the EBRD’s pioneering urban sustainability programme, EBRD Green Cities, is doubling in size with a further €2 billion allocated to invest in green urban infrastructure over the next two years.
With the new funding, more than €5 billion will be dedicated to supporting EBRD Green Cities. The successful programme has already grown to include 52 cities, most recently Gaziantep in Turkey.
EBRD and international partners promote gender equality
CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution, the EBRD and the EIB are joining forces under the framework of the 2X Climate Finance Task Force to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in climate finance investments.
The international partners presented their new toolkit ‒ the Gender-Smart Climate Finance Guide ‒ on behalf of the 2X Collaborative, a new global industry body for gender-lens investing, at the COP26 Climate Conference in Glasgow.
EBRD and partners welcome establishment of Ukraine’s Ethics Council
As Ukraine’s international partners supporting the judicial reforms in Ukraine, the EBRD welcome the establishment of the Ethics Council by law.
The Ethics Council will undertake an important task of reviewing the integrity of the High Council of Justice members – the highest judicial governance body in Ukraine.
Mehmet Uvez appointed new head of EBRD’s Ankara office
The EBRD has appointed Mehmet Uvez to lead its office in the Turkish capital, Ankara. Mr Uvez will manage the Bank’s partnership with the government of Turkey, as well as its interactions with Ankara-based international financial institutions, diplomatic missions and civil-society organisations. He will oversee the Bank’s extensive policy work in various sectors and manage the operations of the Ankara office.
Project signings and agreements
Turkey’s Arçelik secures €150 million EBRD loan for green manufacturing
The EBRD is extending a €150 million loan to Turkey’s leading household appliance manufacturer, Arçelik, to support a three-year environmentally sustainable investment programme.
Turkey’s Akbank receives US$ 50 million EBRD loan to finance women-led firms
To boost the ability of Turkey’s banking sector to finance women-led businesses, the EBRD is providing a US$ 50 million loan to Akbank, a key Turkish lender.
In addition, the EBRD is stepping up its trade finance support for Akbank through a new limit and, under a dedicated Risk Sharing Framework, will also share up to 50 per cent of the risk on individual Akbank loans to small and medium-sized enterprises.
Investing in PPC’s capital increase in Greece
The EBRD is supporting the transformation of the Public Power Corporation (PPC), Greece’s largest power producer and electricity supplier, with an investment of €75 million in the company’s €1.35 billion share-capital increase.
The new capital will enable PPC to accelerate its investments in renewable energy, both in Greece and in south-eastern Europe, and to become a financially and environmentally sustainable, modern and digital utility.
The EBRD organised tree-planting events in Sarajevo and Podgorica, under its Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF) programme. With support from the European Union and Austria, GEFF helps businesses and households in the Western Balkans become greener.
EBRD donors to the Early Transition Countries Fund gathered to discuss priorities and how to have greater impact by supporting environmental infrastructure.
Japan and Norway announced new donor contributions to support sustainable infrastructure in the EBRD regions.
Slovakia’s accession to the EU called for the closure of two Soviet-era nuclear reactors. This required a substantial upgrade of the country’s electricity transmission network. Together with its donors, the EBRD helped to manage the decommissioning support fund that financed the work.
EBRD in the media
EBRD President in Turkey
Ms Odile Renaud-Basso spoke to Bloomberg HT TV, Anadolu Agency and Reuters during her visit to Turkey.
Zen and the art of long distance driving
Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. At times of economic social environmental and other shocks government spending is used as an economic accelerator pedal by policymakers.
Read EBRD Chief Economist Beata Javorcik’s article in Handelsblatt:
Open electricity bill of Ukraine
Grzegorz Zielinski spoke to FAZ about Ukrenergo’s first green bond, which "paves the way for more renewable energies to be developed through competitive auctions or other innovative commercial structures". This will give Ukraine "much cheaper and cleaner electricity" in the future.
EBRD Managing Director for Central Asia, Zsuzsanna Hargitai, spoke to Tajikistan’s Asia Plus.
EBRD on social media
EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso met Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during her visit to the country Among the topics discussed was the importance of policies which foster economic stability.
The President summed up her trip in a post on her LinkedIn account
She also discussed our projects in Ankara with the Mayor of Ankara Metropolitan Municipality.
EBRD and Citi signed an MOU to accelerate green transition in sustainable supply chain financing.
We’re helping Uzbekistan to achieve carbon neutrality! We signed an MoU with Uzbekistan to advance its transition to the green economy.
Ukraine presented its updated NDC at COP26 and discussed what it is doing in climate policy, GHG emissions reduction and adaptation to climate change.
We hosted a COP26 webinar exploring challenges and opportunities in the move to low carbon agri-food systems, as identified through the EBRD and FAO joint study, ‘Carbon neutrality: utopia or the new green wave?
The gender-smart climate finance event saw the launch of the Gender Lens Climate Financing Investing Guide by the 2X Gender and Climate Finance Taskforce, an initiative powered by EIB, CDC and EBRD.
As climate change impacts become more apparent, the need for systemic climate resilience becomes clearer.