EBRD newsletter - Friday 24 September

By EBRD  Press Office
@ebrd

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EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso meets Kazakh President Qasym-Jomart Toqayev in Nur-Sultan this week.

EBRD urges Kazakhstan to act quickly on decarbonisation

Kazakhstan must press ahead with decarbonisation projects that involve gas as a transition fuel while lenders can still finance them, EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso said in an interview at the end of her visit to the Central Asian country. “It is very difficult to shift from coal to renewables quickly and you have this intermittence issue which will need to be addressed and at that point of time we believe gas will have a role to play in the transition, in particular, for example, for district heating projects”, the President was quoted as saying.

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EBRD President pays visit to Kazakhstan

The President of the EBRD, Odile Renaud-Basso. visited Kazakhstan this week. It was her first visit to Central Asia’s largest country and to the region as EBRD President. In Kazakhstan she met with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Prime Minister Askar Mamin, First Deputy Prime Minister, EBRD Governor Alikhan Smailov and other senior officials in the capital Nur Sultan and in Almaty, the largest city.

The EBRD President signed a major road project with the EBRD providing a US$ 240 million loan to the state-owned road company KazAvtoZhol for the reconstruction of a 204 km road section between the cities of Kyzylorda and Zhezkazgan. Ms Renaud-Basso also participated in roundtables on the development of a green economy, digitalisation and SME support in Kazakhstan.

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Kazakhstan state news agency Kazinform shared the news about the President's meetings with Kazakh President Tokayev and PM Mamin: “We look forward to continuing the cooperation with the EBRD in the field of renewable energy sources”, President Tokayev said.

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EBRD and EIB appeal for urgent climate action

The Presidents of the EBRD and the European Investment Bank, Odile Renaud-Basso and Werner Hoyer, appealed for urgent action on climate change, while comparing their complementary work on tackling it in their overlapping regions in an online event this week. The presidents agreed that it was important for regional and global MDBs to align definitions, criteria, and methodology for issuing climate finance to create an orderly environment in which private capital feels comfortable operating.

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EBRD launches Energy Compact for its urban sustainability programme

The EBRD is launching its own Energy Compact to support the energy transition, focussed on investments within its flagship urban sustainability programme, EBRD Green Cities. The Compact is a response to deliver United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7, which aims to provide clean and affordable energy for all. Nandita Parshad, EBRD Managing Director, Sustainable Infrastructure Group, said: “When it comes to addressing the climate emergency, cities must be front and centre.”

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EBRD mobilises private sector for Covid-19 recovery

The EBRD sees the contribution of the private sector as crucial for overcoming the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, President Odile Renaud-Basso told the virtual Global Covid-19 Summit. “We will only build back better with the help of the private sector,”  she said in a pre-recorded message for the event, organised by the government of the United States and bringing together world leaders and private and non-profit sector representatives.

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Latvia steps up reform of state-owned enterprises

Latvia is moving ahead with the reform of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) by endorsing a methodology for optimising capital and governance structures for such companies. The approach was developed in an advisory project with international partners and creates a “letter of expectation” as a new reporting tool. The goal is to bring Latvian SOEs to standards that can attract investment and meet the requirements – in terms of disclosure and transparency – to access capital markets.

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Uranium Legacy in Central Asia: Significant progress, but funding gap remains

A funding gap of €40 million must be closed to finance urgent work addressing the imminent danger caused by radioactive and toxic waste in Central Asia, according to a new cost estimate published by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) during its General Conference in Vienna. Led by the EU, the international community established the Environmental Remediation Account for Central Asia (ERA) in 2015 to address the legacy of Soviet uranium mining in the region. Managed by the EBRD, the ERA has brought significant progress, with work at two critical sites in the Kyrgyz Republic approaching completion ahead of schedule and within budget.

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The publication World Nuclear News quoted Balthasar Lindauer, EBRD Director, Nuclear Safety, in its story in the report: "The renewed coordinated approach to remediation of uranium legacy sites in Central Asia will allow the EBRD to continue to work effectively and ensure safe and sustainable funding decisions. The steps taken should allow other donors to join the Environmental Remediation Account of the EBRD".

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Project signings and agreements

Supporting climate mitigation and adaptation in Morocco

The EBRD – supported by the Green Climate Fund and the European Union (EU) – is providing a financial package of up to €25 million to Bank of Africa - BMCE Group to support Morocco’s green transition for on lending to local citizens, SMEs and corporates for investment in climate change mitigation and adaptation technologies.

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Fostering trade in Jordan

The EBRD is fostering export and import activities in Jordan by providing a US$ 50 million trade facility to the Housing Bank for Trade and Finance under the EBRD’s Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP) to enable the Housing Bank to provide cash financing for pre-export, post-import financing and local distribution.

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€10 million EBRD loan to Serbian producer of recycled cardboard

The EBRD is supporting Umka, a leading manufacturer of recycled cardboard in the Western Balkans region and based in Serbia, with a €10 million loan as part of a comprehensive investment programme to help finance the upgrading of equipment for cardboard production, allowing the company to increase its output.

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Donors

EBRD and EU support Ukrainian berry producer

In Ukraine, the EBRD and the EU helped Amethyst Ole, a blueberry producer, to upgrade its production and boost exports. The company is one of the 470 Ukrainian businesses that have benefited from EBRD-EU4Business credit line funds.

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Supporting women entrepreneurs in Istanbul

The EBRD and J.P. Morgan are launching an advisory support programme that provides access to know-how to selected women entrepreneurs in İstanbul. Following a competitive selection process, ten high-potential micro and small companies run by female entrepreneurs were chosen and announced. These are: Hadi Ham Yap, Esra Bridal, Ege Teknoloji Kimya, Nüde Danışmanlık, Doğaçlama Gıda, Brev Bilişim, Büyük Beden Stil, Özge Makina Torna Pres, Skare Gıda Pazarlama and Shaman’s Secret.

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Warsaw introduces interactive green 3D platform

Warsaw is developing its Green City Action Plan (GCAP) and a roadmap on how to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, with the EBRD, Poland and TaiwanBusiness-EBRD Cooperation Fund’s support. A new interactive platform, developed as a virtual 3D hall, explains Warsaw's green vision and makes the process more inclusive and transparent, by allowing citizens to express their views and present their own proposals.

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Blue Ribbon welcomes Jordan’s Damamax

The EBRD welcomed the Jordanian Damamax to its Blue Ribbon programme for market leading small and medium-sized enterprises. With funding from the EU, the Bank helped the company to roll out fibre optic networks in the capital Amman, bringing affordable high-speed broadband to local SMEs and households.

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The EBRD on social media

We promoted our new Financial Sector Strategy and encouraged our audiences to have their say on it.

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Alana Rousso took part in an IMF discussion on state-owned enterprises in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia

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In the week of UN’s food systems summit, the EBRD  committed to support their transformation

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We welcomed Jordan's DAMAMAX to our Blue Ribbon programme for market leading SMEs.

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We’re helping Ulaanbaater improve the quality of life for its people.

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