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EBRD conference: Reinvigorating Growth, Competitiveness and Investment - The EU from the Baltics, through Central Europe, to the Mediterranean

  • 09 - 10 Nov 2016
  • Budapest, Hungary
  • EBRD with the support of the Hungarian government
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Reinvigorating Growth and Investment

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is organising a conference in Budapest on 9-10 November 2016 with the support of the Hungarian government on how to reinvigorate growth and investment in the EU member states where the Bank invests.

Opening addresses by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti will be followed by a high-level panel discussion moderated by Simeon Djankov, Executive Director of the Financial Markets Group at the London School of Economics and Political Science

Guest speakers will include Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice President of the European Commission, and Rosen Plevneliev, President of Bulgaria. Four separate discussion panels will follow – on finance, infrastructure, innovation and productivity, and the green economy.

The conference will conclude with a joint session on “Growth and Inclusion”, featuring EBRD Chief Economist Sergei Guriev and the Hungarian Minister of the National Economy Mihály Varga.
The event will bring together senior representatives from governments, international institutions, the business community and academia from the region and beyond.
The conference will provide important insights into developments in the region as well as opportunities for high-profile meetings and networking.

The EBRD would like to thank the following sponsor:

The Vigadó - Conference venue 

The Vigado, venue for EBRD conference on reinvigorating growth

Marriott Budapest Hotel - Reception venue 

Marriott Budapest Hotel, venue for event associated with EBRD conference on reinvigorating growth


Wednesday, 9 November
16.30- 19.00 Registration
18.30- 20.30 Evening reception for all participants (Erzsébet Ballroom, Marriott Hotel)
Thursday, 10 November
08.00 Registration opens
09.30-10.00 Opening speeches by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti (Ceremonial Hall) [ working language: Eng/Hun]


High-level session of key policy-makers and opinion formers on European growth and the prospects for the region (Ceremonial Hall) [ working language: Eng/Hun]

11.20-11.50 Coffee break

Panel: Finance (Ceremonial Hall) [working language: Eng]

Panel: Green Economy Transition (Sinkovits Theatre)[working language: Eng]
13.00-14.00 Networking lunch
14.00-15.00 Panel: Infrastructure (Sinkovits Theatre) [ working language: Eng] Panel: Innovation and Productivity (Ceremonial Hall) [working language: Eng]
15.00-16.00 Joint session:  Growth and Inclusion – Lessons from 25 Years of Transition and the Road Ahead (Ceremonial Hall)  [working language: Eng/Hun]
16.00 Concluding remarks (Ceremonial Hall) [ working language: Eng/Hun]


High level panel: Reinvigorating Growth, Competitiveness and Investment (Ceremonial Hall)

The panel will center around the main growth challenges that the region faces over the next decade. These include the unfavourable demography, insufficient innovation and the slow progress towards a single energy market in Europe. The distinguished panellists will offer their views on how best to tackle these challenges and achieve pre-Eurozone crisis rates of economic growth. The panel will be moderated by Simeon Djankov, Executive Director of the Financial Markets Group at the London School of Economics and Political Science.


  • Rosen Plevneliev, President of Bulgaria
  • Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice President of the European Commission 
  • Suma Chakrabarti, President of the EBRD


  • Simeon Djankov, Executive Director of the Financial Markets Group at the London School of Economics and Political Science

Working languages:

English - Hungarian

Background paper for the panel on "Reinvigorating Growth, Competitiveness and Investment" by Simeon Djankov

Hungary, EBRD and Erste Group join forces to strengthen financial sector and bolster economic growth

Finance: Equity as a Source for Financing Growth (Ceremonial Hall)

Economic growth needs funding. In an environment where liquidity is plentiful but banks are risk averse, equity is playing an increasingly important role in spurring market development.  In this session, we will be exploring what it takes to boost and attract equity investments, examining the role of private and public equity, and assessing the needs and requirements of investors. We will hear what the key ingredients of successful equity capital markets are, and discuss what is needed to unleash their full potential.

As the single largest private equity fund investor in the region, the EBRD will bring together investors and institutions to assess the growth challenges facing the markets of central and south-eastern Europe.


  • Ivana Gažić, President of Management Board of Zagreb Stock Exchange
  • Roland Manger, Founder and Managing Partner, Earlybird Venture Capital
  • Robert Manz, Managing Partner, Enterprise Investors
  • Márton Nagy, Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Hungary
  • Alain Pilloux, EBRD Acting Vice President Policy and Partnerships, Vice President Designate, Banking



  • Radován Jelasity, Chief Executive Officer, Erste Bank Hungary

Working language:


Multilateral Development Banks Provided $28 billion in Climate Finance in 2014



Green Economy Transition and Growth (Sinkovits Theatre)

Investment in green technologies and solutions has increased significantly in the last decade. These investments are laying the foundations for a new economic model that not only delivers growth and jobs, but does so while protecting the environment and reducing emissions.

There is a risk that several countries in Central Europe are missing out on this opportunity. Financial flows in this area have been lagging behind other emerging regions of the world.

In this session we will explore how green investments and structural transformation towards a green economy can be a source of stronger growth and job opportunities in this region. With high dependence on fossil fuels and low resource efficiency, COP-21 commitments imply particularly large opportunities.

The EBRD has considerable experience in climate finance. This discussion will look at what the Bank has learned in stimulating private and public investment through its operations and support for policy reform.


  • Robert Abramowski, Ministry of Development, Republic of Poland
  • Maria van der Hoeven, Commissioner, The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate
  • Peter Kaderjak, Member of the Board of Appeal, Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators
  • Christoph Schoefboeck, CEO, Erste Bank, Croatia
  • Lee Timmins, Senior Managing Director & CEO Hines Eurasia Region


  • Mattia Romani, EBRD Managing Director for Economics, Policy and Governance

Working language:




Infrastructure (Sinkovits Theatre)

From the G20 to the IFIs and the EU, the world has reached a consensus that greater infrastructure investment is needed to boost economic growth.  This is achieved through enhanced productivity and improved competiveness coupled with deeper levels of private sector and institutional investment. However, experience shows that the benefits from infrastructure investment will not materialise in full unless the right projects are selected, prepared and delivered efficiently. 

What can be done to deliver more and deliver better?  What can be done to improve pipeline preparation?  How can governments in the region better position themselves to leverage more private sector capital into infrastructure investment?

This panel will explore these issues, featuring key private and public sector actors involved in helping governments to develop the pipeline and invest in critical infrastructure.


  • Benjamin Angel, Director for the Treasury and Financial Operations, European Commission
  • Julia Prescot, Chief Strategy Officer, Meridiam
  • James Stewart, Chairman, Global Infrastructure, KPMG


Matthew Jordan-Tank, EBRD Head of Infrastructure Policy and Project Preparation

Working language:



Innovation and Productivity Growth (Ceremonial Hall)

Long-term economic growth depends crucially on the innovative capacity of economies. In countries close to the technological frontier, innovation mostly takes the form of firms inventing new products and technologies. In countries further from the frontier, firms can catch up by simply adopting and adapting technologies that have been developed elsewhere. This session will discuss how EU countries can reignite growth by fostering both frontier and adoptive innovation. A special emphasis will be placed on the role that governments should play. Are they passive facilitators or is there room for a more active involvement? And if so, which conditions need for these more pro-active (industrial) policies to pay off?


  • Chiara Criscuolo, Head, Structural Policy Unit, Science, Technology & Industry Directorate, OECD
  • Sergei Guriev, EBRD Chief Economist
  • Prof. Yesha Sivan, Executive Director, The Coller Institute of Venture, Tel Aviv University; founder of Metaverse Labs


  • Larry Sherwin, EBRD Deputy Director, Communications

Working language:


EBRD adopts Gender Strategy, calls for more private sector engagement on gender equality

Growth and InclusionLessons from 25 Years of Transition (Ceremonial Hall)

This panel discussion will summarise and assess the findings from the latest EBRD Transition Report. The report shows that some transition countries have managed to deliver growth with broadly shared gains while in others growth benefits accrued to a relatively narrow part of society. These traumatic experiences have long-term implications for well-being and social capital. EBRD Chief Economist Sergei Guriev will also discuss findings from the conference panels as well as the growth and inequality challenges in the region. He will be joined by Mihály Varga, Hungarian Minister of the National Economy and former Minister of Finance.

Working language:


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