Read the speech delivered at the EBRD 2017 Annual Meeting
The EBRD is a strong and successful bank which has consistently delivered results that benefit the economies and people of the countries it supports, EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti said on Wednesday.
He was speaking at the opening session of the Board of Governors at the Bank’s Annual Meeting in Cyprus where the EBRD has been investing since 2014.
“Only a truly strong and successful Bank could point to our achievements in Cyprus in the short period we have been active here,” the EBRD President said. “Only a truly strong and successful Bank could point to the impact we have had across all the countries where we work, both last year and in the quarter of a century which preceded it.”
Sir Suma also outlined a clear vision for the Bank’s future: “To deliver yet more impact, to enhance our financial sustainability and to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of everything we do.” The results of work to achieve these goals are “there for all to see”.
In 2016, the EBRD produced another set of record investments, providing finance – as in 2015 – of €9.4 billion in projects that made a strong contribution to progress towards the development of effective market economies.
This EBRD was aiming for even greater impact with the adoption of a set of investment criteria that ensure EBRD projects help economies become not only more competitive, but also better governed, greener, more inclusive, more resilient and more integrated.
These are the six transition qualities the EBRD believes best help to equip the economies of its regions to address the challenges of the 21st century.
Sir Suma told the Governors, who represent the EBRD’s 67 shareholders, that the Bank was determined to maintain its considerable financial strength, a prerequisite of delivering transition impact. “Indeed, our net profit of €1 billion last year, some 25 per cent up on 2015, is proof of our strength in this area. And this pleasing trend continues with our profits rising even more sharply in the first quarter of 2017,” he said.
In this context he noted that all major international rating agencies had consistently and repeatedly reaffirmed the EBRD’s triple-A rating with a stable outlook. “I am proud of this achievement and determined to safeguard it,” he said.
Sir Suma also stressed that the Bank was working to deliver its support in as effective and efficient a manner as possible. “We are focused on both the effective delivery of our mission, making sure we spend our time on achieving greater transition impact, and the efficiency of our work, streamlining and simplifying as much as we can,” he said.
The President said the EBRD’s unique business model, with its focus on the private sector, was particularly well placed to support the Sustainable Development Goals that were adopted worldwide in 2015 as a blueprint for global development up until 2030.
The EBRD was able to help specifically in the mobilisation of much-needed private finance. And it was “open and eager to share our business model, approaches and lessons learned” with other multilateral development banks.
“As the development finance landscape continues to change, so do the needs and ambitions of recipient countries. I strongly believe that the multilateral development bank system must also evolve,” he said.