EBRD President Chakrabarti visits New Zealand and Australia

By Anthony Williams

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EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti travels to New Zealand and Australia in the first week of March for high-level political and business meetings aimed at strengthening the Bank’s links with existing and potential investors in emerging economies.

The EBRD President will also discuss the Bank’s priorities for the coming years with authorities from the two countries, which are both shareholders in the EBRD.

Over the last 18 months, Sir Suma has stepped up the Bank’s contacts with Asian countries, in response to growing investor interest in opportunities in the Bank’s countries of operations.

The EBRD President has visited India, Korea, Japan and there will be a business development mission to China in the next few weeks. Sir Suma’s visit will be the first by an EBRD President to either New Zealand or Australia.

“The evolution of the Bank since its creation in 1991 means it is now even more relevant to potential investors in Australasia than before,” the President said, referring specifically to its expansion over the last eight years into Mongolia, Turkey and countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

In his talks with the authorities, Sir Suma will highlight the Bank’s increasing focus on efforts to improve the business climate in the countries where it invests, helping to tackle corruption and reduce unnecessary bureaucracy and other impediments to investment.

He will also explain the EBRD’s drive for efficiencies in an institution that already has a high return to shareholder capital and a particularly low cost-to-income ratio.

In Canberra, he will discuss the importance that both the EBRD and Australia -- as the current President of the G-20 countries -- are attaching to the issue of private investment in infrastructure.

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