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18 Feb 2015

EBRD invites Belarusian banks to expand cooperation

MINSK, 18 February (BelTA) – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development invites Belarusian banks to expand cooperation to finance small and medium businesses. EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti made the relevant statement on 18 February, BelTA has learned.

According to Suma Chakrabarti, the EBRD is interested in providing more finance to Belarusian SMEs via the banking industry. He went on saying that during the negotiations the Belarusian government had agreed to consider the possibility of gradually transferring some of the state bank assets to the private sector. The move is supposed to facilitate future investments on the part of the EBRD.

Apart from that, the EBRD is in negotiations with potential investors that may come to Belarus. “We are trying to double our efforts so that the investors, who know nothing about Belarus yet, would come to this market,” said the EBRD President. OAO Stadler Minsk and IOOO Kronospan can be the examples to convince them.

Suma Chakrabarti noted that the Belarusian economy is having a hard time due to the processes going on in Russia. The EBRD President stated that the bank intends to put more efforts into helping Belarus in this situation and raising the money as soon as possible.

The EBRD’s operation in Belarus is determined by the relevant country strategy of the bank. The document was adopted in March 2013 and is primarily geared towards developing the private sector. Over the last three years the EBRD has virtually quadrupled the volume of investments and the portfolio of projects in the country. A new strategy to guide Belarus-EBRD cooperation in 2016-2018 is in the pipeline.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) was created in 1991. It is the largest investor in the region. Apart from using its own funds the EBRD channels considerable volumes of foreign direct investments. EBRD investments are aimed at fostering structural and industry-wide reforms, the development of competition, privatization and entrepreneurship. EBRD money is used to enhance financial organizations and legal systems, develop the infrastructure necessary to support the private sector, and introduce a reliable corporate management system for the purpose of dealing with environmental protection problems among other things.

Belarus became an EBRD member in 1992. For the last few years Belarus-EBRD cooperation has been steadily advancing.

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