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30 Sep 2016

EBRD set to expand cooperation with Belarus’ public sector

MINSK, 30 September (BelTA) – The new strategy of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for Belarus for 2016-2019, and also EBRD’s future and ongoing projects in the country were discussed at a meeting of Belarusian First Deputy Economy Minister Alexander Zaborovsky with Head of the EBRD Office in Belarus Francis Daley and his successor Alexander Pivovarsky in Minsk on 28 September, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian Economy Ministry.

“The Belarusian side thanked the EBRD for the balanced and pragmatic dialogue on expanding the cooperation with the public sector and launching new large-scale projects, and also for the relations of trust established with the bank’s management. The new 2016-2019 EBRD strategy for Belarus was adopted by the EBRD Board of Directors on 7 September 2016. Unlike the previous strategy for 2013-2015, it does not contain any restrictions,” the press service said.

The EBRD will support the efforts of the Belarusian authorities in two strategic areas. “The first is enhancing the competitiveness of the real economy by bolstering the growth and productivity of the private sector and promoting the privatization of state-owned companies. This includes provision of long-term debt and equity financing to local and foreign investors as well as support for small and medium-sized business (SME) lending through the development of a sustainable commercially oriented banking sector. The EBRD will also promote the privatization of state-owned enterprises by strategic investors that can provide capital and know-how to improve competitiveness and productivity,” the press service specified.

Enhancing the sustainability and service quality of the public infrastructure by reforming its policy and regulation is the second strategic area. “The EBRD will encourage private sector participation in the provision of public infrastructure services. The bank will also seek to support well-defined reform initiatives of the government in the municipal, transport, power and energy sectors through its investments and technical assistance,” the Economy Ministry said.

The press service added that the adoption of the full-scale strategy will help expand EBRD’s operations portfolio in Belarus, attract the bank’s resources on favorable terms for the implementation of promising projects, and expand EBRD’s operations related to the financing of SMEs support programs and provision of pre-privatization assistance to public organizations.

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