EBRD focus on financing for development at World Bank-IMF meetings

By Anthony Williams

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EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti leads a senior delegation to the World Bank and IMF Spring Meetings in Washington DC this week where discussions will focus on delivering finance to support new development goals for the next 15 years.
Sir Suma will also hold meetings with senior officials from EBRD member countries, both donors and recipients, explaining how the Bank is further strengthening its vigorous approach to revitalising economies in the EBRD regions.
The economic environment remains challenging. Weakness in Russia is casting a shadow over wide swathes of the EBRD regions. Ukraine’s economy is again expected to contract this year and the eurozone is still struggling to return to growth.
Policy-makers in Washington will discuss responses to immediate economic challenges but also proposals to support the longer-term development goals that the international community is due to adopt towards the end of 2015.
Sir Suma and other heads of multilateral development banks and the IMF will present a paper to the joint IMF-World Bank Development Committee on how to scale up the financing available to fund the post-2015 Global Development Agenda, which comprises 17 new Sustainable Development Goals.
Finance for development is also on the agenda of a public discussion due to take place on 17 April at the World Bank, hosted by President Jim Yong Kim and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. At this event, policy-makers, political leaders and representatives of business and civil society will debate “Changing the Conversation on Development Finance”.
During these discussions, Sir Suma will highlight the contribution the EBRD has made in mobilising private finance for development and how it works as a catalyst to draw in private funding for projects, especially in the energy and infrastructure sectors.
The EBRD has pioneered the development of innovative financing mechanisms to inject private funding into sustainable energy projects, promoting energy efficiency and the development of renewable energy sources.
In his meetings with EBRD shareholders, the President will explain how the Bank is stepping up its response to continuing economic challenges, increasing its support for governments in rolling out reforms needed to raise the pace of investment.
He will also address this issue in a speech on 15 April at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he will highlight the important role the state must play in creating conditions that allow the private sector to flourish.
At this event, the President will address the question of “What the Private Sector Needs From the State”, drawing on the EBRD’s experience of investing in transition over the last quarter of a century and highlighting the reforms that the Bank has supported in its discussions with authorities.
Sir Suma will look ahead to the investment outlook for the rest of 2015. The EBRD increased its investments to €8.9 billion in 2014 from €8.5 billion the previous year, despite guidance from shareholders in July that they would not approve, for the time being, any new projects in Russia.
While investment conditions remain challenging, the Bank has a strong pipeline of potential projects across the countries where it works.
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