EBRD 2022 Annual Meeting to be dominated by Ukraine and impact of the war

By Richard Porter

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  • Shareholders to discuss ways to further support Ukraine 
  • Economic impact of the war has spread across the Bank’s regions
  • Discussion to take place in Marrakech on 10-12 May at the first “physical” Annual Meeting since 2019

The ongoing war on Ukraine – heading towards three months after the Russian-led invasion – will dominate the first in-person Annual Meeting of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to take place in three years. 

Representatives from the Bank’s 73 country and institutional shareholders will gather in Marrakech, Morocco from 10 to 12 May, for an event taking place under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI. It will be the first time the Bank’s Annual Meeting will be in one of its member countries on the African continent.

The meeting comes against the backdrop of the war on Ukraine – one of the largest economies in which the Bank invests. The economic impact of the war is being felt in all the regions where the Bank operates.

Shareholders will discuss how they can best support the Bank’s response both in Ukraine and in other countries of operations that are dealing with an influx of millions of refugees. The meeting, under the theme of “Responding to Challenges in a Turbulent World”, will also be considering the wider economic picture, with rising inflation and concerns over energy and food security. 

The EBRD is implementing a €2 billion Resilience Package to support Ukraine and help countries directly affected in the surrounding region. On Tuesday 10 May the Bank will publish its latest Regional Economic Prospects, which will give a strong indication of how economies are continuing to be affected by the war.

Around 1,500 people are expected to attend the Annual Meeting in person at the Palais des Congrès in Marrakech, with others able to join sessions online. It will be the first physical gathering since Sarajevo in 2019 as the Covid pandemic forced the events in 2020 and 2021 to be fully virtual. Although many Covid restrictions have been lifted in Morocco, precautions will still be in place for people entering the country and taking part in events.

The EBRD operates in 38 economies from central Europe to Central Asia and the southern and eastern Mediterranean (including North Africa). The Bank has been considering a further expansion of its geographic scope to sub-Saharan Africa and Iraq. Shareholders will consider whether to take the first step towards this possibility in a discussion on Thursday 12 May.

The Kingdom of Morocco is one of Africa’s largest economies and a founding member and shareholder of the EBRD. The Bank has invested more than €3.2 billion in the country since it began operating there a decade ago.

The Board of Governors’ opening session, which marks the formal start of the event, will be broadcast live on Moroccan TV on Wednesday 11 May.

The Bank’s President, Odile Renaud-Basso, will deliver an opening address, along with a guest speaker from the host nation. The President will take questions from journalists at a news conference on Thursday 12 May.

Other events taking place during the week include:

  • a Business Forum to offer companies from Morocco and other participating nations the chance to promote their activities and network with potential partners and investors
  • a gathering of the Bank’s donor partners; working and co-financing with donors are integral to the EBRD’s efforts to improve the lives of the people in the economies where it invests
  • panel discussions and other special events, including debates on food security; the future of globalisation; and involving the private sector in tackling climate change and other development challenges. Climate change is a major focus for the EBRD, which is aiming to be a majority green Bank by 2025.

The main events will be livestreamed via the Bank’s website, www.ebrd.com. Selected events will also be streamed on social media.

A full programme for the event and information on how to register as an in-person attendee are available on the website www.ebrd.com/am. Registration is required in advance, but there is no fee. 

Note to journalists: Journalists attending the news conference in person will be able to ask questions in the usual way. If you are connecting remotely, question should be submitted via Slido, entering the event code #917000. Select the option for President’s Press Conference.

 

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