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EBRD newsletter - Friday 16 April

By EBRD  Press Office

The EBRD celebrates its 30th birthday

Marking the 30th anniversary of the EBRD's foundation, President Odile Renaud-Basso delivered a keynote speech on Thursday referencing both past successes and the Bank’s future role. She said: “we will be working with the Board of Directors over the next few weeks to prepare a resolution on climate action and the net-zero transition to put before the Board of Governors at the summer’s Annual Meeting. This draft resolution would commit us to full alignment with the Paris Agreement and to further supporting all the countries where we work in their transitions to low carbon economies. This would mark a landmark step forward in our approach.”

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30 years on, more than 6,000 projects later and with almost €150 billion invested so far, a celebratory video shows how the EBRD story began, highlights its staff and marvels at the Bank’s finest achievements.

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The EBRD at 30: stepping up its climate ambition

The EBRD aims to fully align its activities with the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change mitigation, adaptation and finance within the next 20 months. This would upgrade the current strategy, which commits the EBRD to dedicating most of its investments to support the transition to a green economy by 2025. Alignment with the Paris Agreement would commit the Bank to making all investments consistent with holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit that increase to 1.5°C.

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The EBRD@30: past, present and future

Four EBRD Chief Economists, past and present, discussed the Bank’s history and its future in an anniversary EconTalk. Lord Stern, Erik Berglöf, Sergei Guriev and Beata Javorcik spoke about the long road from investing in 8 to 38 economies, from economic consensus to economic complexity and, also, from crisis to crisis. What are the next steps ahead? “Nothing matters more than institution building”, said Beata Javorcik.

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EBRD – quo vadis?

In a series of interviews with international media President Renaud-Basso discussed the Bank’s development since its establishment and its historic achievements. She highlighted the Bank’s rapid response to the coronavirus pandemic and spoke about the prospects for the regions’ recovery. In conversation with the French daily “Le Figaro” she also touched upon the Bank’s future by saying: “A debate is under way for the EBRD to expand to sub-Saharan Africa. A formal decision is expected in 2022.”

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In an interview with the Dutch business daily “Het Financieele Dagblad”, the President also touched upon the discussion on the European Financial Architecture for Development and stressed her support for a “multipolar approach” with institutions complementing each other.“'We are a very different creature from the EIB”, she said. In conversation with “Neue Zuercher Zeitung” she added about the EBRD’s approach: “We are only engaging where we can actually add value and where our activities have a clear goal.”

Learn more here and here

Project signings

CEECAT Fund II achieves first closing with EBRD support

Supporting the development of equity markets, the EBRD is committing €30 million to the private equity fund CEECAT Fund II, which invests in central and south-eastern Europe and Turkey.

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Supporting SME competitiveness in Serbia

In Serbia, the EBRD is providing a €20 million loan to UniCredit Leasing Serbia to support local SMEs in investing to boost their competitiveness. More than half of the total loan amount will finance investments in green technology and energy efficiency.

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EBRD, EU and E5P to launch landfill construction in Armenia

The EBRD and the EU, with the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure of Armenia, have launched the construction of a new solid-waste landfill facility in Hrazdan, which serves as a transport hub between the capital, Yerevan, and the north of the country.

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Supporting district heating upgrade in Dushanbe

In Tajikistan, the EBRD is committing funds to overhaul the district heating system in Dushanbe, with the country’s first project under the EBRD Green Cities programme to reduce the environmental impact of the municipal utility with a financing package of up to US$10 million (a US$ 5 million sovereign loan and a US$ 5 million grant).

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Donors news

30th Anniversary

On the occasion of the EBRD’s 30th anniversary, the Bank celebrated a milestone of helping over 30,000 SMEs accelerate their growth and achieve impact across all our regions.

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Donors join the celebrations

EBRD donors, including the European Union’s Ursula von der Leyen and Katarina Mathernova, UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Sweden’s Minister for International Development Cooperation Per Olsson Fridh, sent us wishes and congratulated us on our 30th anniversary.

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Promoting green investments in Moldova

The EBRD launched its Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF) in Moldova, with support from the Green Climate Fund and Turkey. It will provide finance and advice to help local businesses become more competitive and households to reduce energy costs, by investing in high-performance technologies and adopting greener practices.

Learn more here and watch the recording here

EBRD and GCF expand green finance in Armenia

Armenia’s private sector will benefit from new resources for green financing thanks to a US$ 6 million financial package put together by the EBRD and the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which brings up to US$ 1.5 million in concessional financing. The loan is expected to facilitate the country’s transition to a more sustainable, low-carbon and climate-resilient economy.

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Supporting furniture company Estudio in Lebanon

In 2020, Lebanon’s Estudio connected with the EBRD Advice for Small Businesses programme funded by the EU, to begin a new diversified line of work under the brand E-CYCLE producing items made from recyclable materials or waste collected in Estudio’s own factory. Despite economic headwinds, today the company employs 30 staff and delivers its products and services in Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. It is now planning to expand further in the Gulf region.

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EBRD in the news

‘’In spite of another wave of the pandemic and the continued shutdown of many of the EU’s major economies, Poland’s return to its pre-pandemic GDP levels will already be possible in early 2022,” said Beata Javorcik, EBRD Chief Economist, in her interview with the Poland’s Obserwator Finansowy.

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Bulgarian National Radio interviewed Nadia Petkova, SME F&D Regional Network Director, on the EBRD’s 30th anniversary: ‘’Just a few weeks ago we did our six-thousandth project and reached 150 billion investments over the last 30 years in our member states,’’ she said.

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Zsuzsanna Hargitai, EBRD Regional Director for the Western Balkans, was quoted in as telling a conference on solar power in Serbia that investors were standing in line to join the solar boom there. She said the EBRD was ready to support projects, including in the residential sector, and to increase available funds.

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See more media coverage of EBRD work on GEFF, CEECAT Fund II, Armenia landfill project (Intellinews and Arka) and Serbia solar boom

The EBRD on social media

We highlighted how Queen Elizabeth II welcomed the EBRD to London in 1991…

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…and remembered the many other VIPs who have visited or been connected to the EBRD in some way.

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The EBRD looked back to look forward to illustrate its current strategic themes through retro 1990s-style video games

Inclusion, green and digital

The EBRD received many, many congratulations and birthday wishes, including this one from the No Borders Orchestra…

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…and this one from Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

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The Bank also compared the cities and places we work then and now

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