EBRD President visits shareholder Malta

By Anthony Williams

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Sir Suma Chakrabarti, President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), will visit Valetta on 16 July for talks with government officials aimed at increasing cooperation between the EBRD and Malta, one of the Bank’s founding shareholders.

In this first official trip by an EBRD President to Malta, Sir Suma will meet the Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna, who is also Malta’s Governor at the EBRD, together with the Deputy Prime Minister Louis Grech, and Central Bank Governor Josef Bonnici.

Malta has been a shareholder of the EBRD since the Bank was founded in 1991 to support the transition to market economies and democracies after the collapse of communist rule in eastern Europe.

A publicly owned institution, the EBRD invests primarily in the private sector, promoting the development of small and medium-sized enterprises, strengthening banking systems and helping build up key areas of infrastructure. It is also a pioneer in the promotion of energy efficiency and the development of sustainable energy sources.

The EBRD invests across more than 30 countries from Poland to Mongolia, through eastern Europe and the Caucasus, the Balkans, Turkey and Central Asia. Since the events of the Arab Spring, the EBRD has extended its activities to Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. Libya has recently become a member of the EBRD with a view to becoming a recipient country.

Speaking ahead of his visit, the EBRD President said, “I am very much looking forward to meeting government leaders in Malta to thank them for their support for the Bank over the last 23 years.”

“I shall also be particularly eager to discuss with government officials and with representatives of commerce in Malta how we can work more closely together, especially in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region where Maltese firms have a long history of investment and where we can learn from their experience.”

Sir Suma said he wanted to strengthen the relationship the EBRD has with Maltese companies and expand the business they do together.

Speaking ahead of the visit, Malta’s Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna said, “Continued dialogue and cooperation between Malta and the EBRD is something that we hold dear. In this regard I look forward to welcoming Sir Suma in Malta, and to discussing with him matters of mutual interest and importance.”

“As I have had occasion to affirm, my government supports the EBRD’s operations in the North African region, and we look forward to further dialogue in this regard.”

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