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New EBRD transport strategy – raising environmental and social standards, boosting private sector role

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo

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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s new strategy for investments in the transport sector (622KB - PDF) is placing a high priority on raising environmental and social standards and increasing the role that the private sector plays in the industry.

The new strategy details the EBRD’s vision of achieving secure, reliable and sustainable systems of transport which embody market principles, balance economic, environmental and social needs and are responsive to the requirements of industry and of the public.

The EBRD’s Director for Transport, Sue Barrett, said: “The strategy focuses on the need to promote market-based transport in our region of operations. Another priority is the creation of sustainable transport systems – placing an even greater emphasis on the environmental and social aspects of transport. This move has received strong support from civil society organisations and is an important focus of the EBRD’s engagement with other multilateral development banks.”

The EBRD will maintain its emphasis on financing transport projects that promote regional integration, particularly in the Western Balkans, in the countries of the European Neighbourhood, and in Central Asia, and will look for opportunities to extend this approach to the southern and eastern Mediterranean region.

The strategy also specifies a series of strategic performance indicators. These focus on policy dialogue to support the restructuring and commercialisation of publicly-owned clients, on increasing private sector and commercially-based funding, and on reducing carbon emissions and improving road safety.

Historically, across the EBRD’s region of operations, state ownership has been dominant in the transport sector. However, over the course of the Bank’s activity in the industry the share of its investments in private sector projects has grown steadily since 2002. The new strategy envisages that over half of all future EBRD investments will be in the private sector.

The EBRD’s total investments in transport operations have reached €10.4 billion, with over 230 projects financed.

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