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Opinions & Interviews

4 Jun 2018

Belarus eager to borrow $0.5bn from EBRD per annum

Belarus eager to borrow $0.5bn from EBRD per annum

MINSK, 4 June (BelTA) – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development should think about raising the bank’s annual investment in projects in Belarus up to €0.5 billion. Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Vladimir Semashko made the relevant statement as he met with EBRD Vice President Alain Pilloux on 4 June, BelTA has learned.

Vladimir Semashko said: “I think both sides should be satisfied with the fact that the volume of EBRD operations has been on the rise in Belarus in the last few years. There is obvious dynamics. In 2017 we saw an increase of nearly 31% to €163 million. This year we’ve been seeing roughly the same pace and expect €250 million.” The deputy prime minister reminded that the annual volume of finance had already reached €250 million several years before. “This is why we should think about ways to reach €0.5 billion and more than that,” he believes.

Belarus and the EBRD are busy implementing a number of projects in utilities industry, energy saving, and ecology. According to Vladimir Semashko, these projects are advancing rather successfully. In turn, Belarus will accelerate the implementation of projects meant to enhance water supply and water treatment systems. He was grateful for the fact that in addition to loans the EBRD resources are also made available as grants. The Belarusian side also counts on reconstructing Minsk’s water treatment facilities in partnership with the EBRD. The project may require over €160 million. The matter will be discussed when EBRD Vice President Alain Pilloux meets with Minsk Mayor Andrei Shorets.

Vladimir Semashko underlined the importance of the energy effectiveness enhancement projects the EBRD is implementing and intends to implement. Over the last 15 years Belarus has done a lot of work in this area and intends to continue working to reduce dependence on imported energy resources, explained Vladimir Semashko.

In 2016 the EBRD adopted a four-year strategy on Belarus, which reflects changes in the political situation in the country and recognizes an increase in the level of international openness of the country. Since then the EBRD has stepped up its efforts to support initiatives in the area of reformation using investments and technical aid with a view to developing the private sector, supporting privatization processes, and raising the stability of the public infrastructure through commercial solutions. In 2017 alone the EBRD allocated €163 million to Belarus within the framework of 14 projects. The EBRD has invested over €2 billion in 95 projects in various branches of the national economy since the bank started working in Belarus in 1992.

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