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22 Nov 2019

Belarus seeks to raise up to €500m in EBRD investment annually

Belarus seeks to raise up to €500m in EBRD investment annually

LONDON, 22 November (BelTA) – Belarus seeks to increase the annual inflow of investment from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) up to €500 million, Belarusian Premier Sergei Rumas said as he met with EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti on 21 November, BelTA has learned.

“Last year we managed to raise a record of €360 million in bilateral deals, which was the result of collaborative effort of the EBRD team of professionals and our ministries. I believe that we need to set a bar even higher. According to our estimates, if we manage to bring all our plans to fruition this year, we will break the 2018 record. I believe that we can hit a €500 million target. We are glad that the top executives and management of the bank are receptive to our plans to raise investment in the public and private sectors,” Sergei Rumas said.

Belarus and the EBRD have an extensive cooperation agenda. In 2018 several agreements were signed to implement infrastructure projects. This year an agreement to implement the Clean Water of Vitebsk Oblast project was signed. It is a pilot project to build deferrization stations to provide local residents with clean water.

According to the premier, an agreement to implement another project in the housing and utilities sector is to be signed in London on 22 November. In line with the project, the EBRD will provide nearly €27 million to upgrade water services companies in seven cities across Belarus. “Projects in water supply backed by the EBRD resources are a tradition we would like to continue,” Sergei Rumas said.

A series of projects with the EBRD are in the works now. The premier mentioned a new initiative to build energy infrastructure in free economic zones. “This is a very important project, because it will help attract private investors into our free economic zones. I hope that a corresponding loan agreement on the project will be signed this year, maybe not in London, but in Minsk,” he added.

The head of government emphasized that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development supports efforts to draft a pilot project to renovate the M10 road. This project will rely on public-private partnership. “We appreciate the EBRD’s interest in the project,” Sergei Rumas said.

The EBRD is an international bank, which facilitates the development of the private sector and entrepreneurship initiative. The EBRD shareholders include 69 countries, the European Union, and the European Investment Bank. The EBRD began working in Belarus in 1992. It is now the biggest institutional investor in the Belarusian economy.

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