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25 Nov 2016

EBRD to assist with Belarusian economy transformation by any available means

EBRD to assist with Belarusian economy transformation by any available means

MINSK, 25 November (BelTA) – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is ready to support the transformation of the Belarusian economy by any available means. Head of the EBRD Office in Belarus Alexander Pivovarsky made the statement during the Minsk Forum on 25 November, BelTA has learned. The topic of this year’s forum is Belarus-Germany-EU: Prospects for European Neighborhood and Security.

Alexander Pivovarsky said: “We look into the future of the Belarusian economy and Belarus as a whole with interest and optimism. We are ready to support the process with all the instruments available to us.”

The executive reminded that the EBRD had opened eleven credit lines to the tune of €88 million to partner banks for the sake of working with small and medium enterprises. The EBRD has also started working on implementing the Belarusian government’s privatization plans. “Work with Belinvestbank is the first and most significant project in this direction. Within slightly more than a year since the memorandum of understanding was signed, the bank has taken quite many steps and has undergone significant transformation. In particular, a considerable part of the loans granted within the framework of government programs have been transferred out of the bank. The bank no longer takes part in these programs. Independent directors have been introduced into the board of directors. The bank has started working with programs for SMEs and credit lines for businesswomen,” said Alexander Pivovarsky. “We’ve lately made the final decision that for 30 months a team of advisors will work with Belinvestbank to help transform its decision-making process. Now we are looking at new candidates for pre-privatization work.”

In his words, the EBRD intends to demonstrate the successful transformation of enterprises using several pilot projects as examples and encourage further changes this way. “We would like to demonstrate that this process is not always destructive. Unfortunately, the experience of several neighboring countries has demonstrated that the process can be destructive and can lead to serious political negative consequences if it is not controlled. But it doesn’t have to be this way. The EBRD has examples of other countries where this process has produced significant positive results,” summed up Alexander Pivovarsky.

The Minsk Forum is scheduled for 24-26 November. It has been organized by the German-Belarusian Society. The co-organizers include the Johannes Rau International Education Center in Minsk and the public association Discussion and Analysis Society Liberal Club. The forum has been arranged with assistance of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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