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13 Sep 2017

EBRD set to invest about €200m in Belarusian economy in 2017

MINSK, 13 September (BelTA) - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is set to invest about €200 million in the Belarusian economy in 2017, EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti told the media in Minsk on 13 September, BelTA has learned.

The EBRD president recalled that the EBRD and Belarus have been cooperating for about 25 years. During this time, the Bank has invested about €2 billion in the country's economy. “This year, we look forward to €200 million in investment,” Suma Chakrabarti said. It is a bit short of the record of €250 million. “Yet there are promising projects that will enable us to beat the record figures this year,” the EBRD President said.

Suma Chakrabarti recalled that a new country strategy for Belarus was adopted in September last year. “It enable us to interact more extensively in a number of areas in various sectors in Belarus. The range of potential projects is now much wider than ever before in the history of the EBRD. It is connected with several factors including the improving macroeconomic conditions in the country: for the first time in several years the country has recorded macroeconomic growth. The resolution of some issues with Russia has had a favorable impact on the economic situation affects as well, he said.

The EBRD president noted that the improvements were also thanks to the government's efforts to improve the investment climate in the country. Here we see a wider range of possibilities for our cooperation with the Belarusian government. We plan to give a second lease on life to the advisory boards for investment and entrepreneurship. representing the private sector, listening to expert opinion of international financial institutions, such bodies can be a very useful conduit for ideas and recommendations to the government,” he said.

Suma Chakrabarti recalled that the EBRD has signed three memorandums with Belarus today. The first one is the document on the allocation by the EU of €6 million via the EBRD to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Belarus. The second one is to promote local currency lending. The third one is intended to provide a framework for cooperation between the EBRD and the government on promoting better business practices in state-owned enterprises.

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