EBRD newsletter - Friday 1 October

Euromoney: the EBRD leads by example in addressing climate change

Euromoney magazine, the leading authority for the world's banking and financial market, published a major article in its recent issue praising the EBRD’s green policies. The article is based on interviews with President Odile Renaud-Basso and other senior management. The 5,000-word piece described our green work in detail, pointing out that the EBRD is the first development bank to have gone from theory to practice and produce a detailed methodology of how to move towards Paris alignment. “The EBRD's experience and capabilities are in many ways well suited to meeting the climate challenge. Everyone from policymakers to bankers agrees on the urgent need to mobilise private-sector finance, which is what the EBRD was created to do,” the piece says.

The EBRD Regional Director for the Western Balkans, Matteo Colangeli, and the Head of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Manuela Naessl, were among the guests of honour at the opening ceremony of Svilaj Bridge connecting the Bosnian with the Croatian section of the Corridor Vc motorway this week. The President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, said: “the bridge connects the Western Balkans and the European Union and, more importantly, symbolically builds bridges and connects people, countries and cultures.”

Speaking at a joint FT-EBRD webinar on “Closing the Disclosure Gap: Unlocking climate-related investment in emerging markets” on Tuesday, EBRD Managing Director for Green Economy and Climate Action, Harry Boyd-Carpenter, discussed how corporate disclosure matters and whether more and better disclosure could drive investment in emerging markets. “You can see things moving very fast and you can see this as an opportunity for everybody involved,” he said.

Evaluation contributes to the monitoring of how the EBRD is delivering its objectives. Evaluation also helps enhance the EBRD’s transition impact by collecting evidence of what works and what does not in the Bank’s projects, programmes and strategies and policies. Independent evaluation is an essential element of the EBRD’s work. 

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has become a full member of the EBRD and its 72nd shareholder, setting the stage for new investment opportunities across the Bank’s regions. The UAE will not become an EBRD country of operations.

After five years of service as EBRD Vice President Policy and Partnerships, Pierre Heilbronn left the Bank today. He is succeeded by Mark Bowman, who joined the EBRD from the UK Treasury. Mr Heilbronn represented the Bank throughout its countries of operations, strengthened existing ties and built new ones. President Odile Renaud-Basso said: “I would like to thank Pierre [Heilbronn] for his dedication and commitment in advancing the EBRD’s agenda and representing the Bank so effectively in Europe and in its countries of operations“.

When strong earthquakes hit Croatia earlier this year and left thousands without a home, the EBRD Resident Office in Zagreb initiated a fundraising campaign for victims in the Sisačko-moslavačka županija. A campaign was launched with Solidarna Foundation, a community-based Croatian human rights organisation. In little over a month’s time, €50,000 has been raised thanks also to a donation from the Croatian Bar Association. Finally, the EBRD Community Initiative double the collected amount. A site visit this week offered the opportunity to launch the first projects and the local press reported.

The EBRD and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) are facilitating better regional and international connectivity for air travellers in Kazakhstan by arranging parallel loans of US$ 150 million each for the development of key infrastructure at Almaty International Airport to be provided to a consortium of investors led by the global airport operator TAV Airports. The project, which is also co-financed by the  Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) and DEG, the German development finance institution, will fund the biggest-ever private investment into airport infrastructure in Kazakhstan and Central Asia. 

The EBRD and the IFC are promoting increased private-sector participation in Uzbekistan’s banking sector by acquiring stakes of up to 20 per cent each in TBC Bank Uzbekistan (TBC UZ). The investment’s goal is to strengthen digital finance in Uzbekistan and thereby boosting financial inclusion in the country.

The EBRD, supported by the Green Climate Fund and the European Union, is providing a financial package of up to €25 million to Credit Immobilier et Hotelier (CIH Bank). CIH Bank will use the funds to lend to corporates, small businesses and individuals in Morocco for investments in climate change mitigation and adaptation technologies.

The EBRD and the Moroccan Research Institute for Solar Energy and New Energies (IRESEN) are joining forces to boost energy transition. In a Memorandum of Understanding the parties agreed to strengthen cooperation in the areas of investments promotion and acceleration of Morocco’s transition to green energy.

The EBRD is providing a financial package of US$ 5 million to Inecobank in Armenia to facilitate the private sector’s transition to more sustainable, low-carbon and climate-resilient practices through support of small businesses. The project will benefit from grant incentives of €523,000 provided by the EU.

Tourism helps open up the beauty of Albania to its own citizens and the wider world. We are raising awareness of the benefits of eco-tourism and promoting a sustainable and inclusive tourism sector in the country. Supported by Italy through the Central European Initiative, and in partnership with the Albanian Development Fund.

This year's World Tourism Day recognises the importance of ensuring that nobody is left behind in the tourism value chain. This is how, together with the EU and Luxembourg, we are boosting small-scale, green and inclusive tourism in Montenegro.

Gourmet restaurant Ejona in Albania is one of those delicious finds that you never forget. Together with the EU, we are helping it become a fully eco-friendly restaurant with a business strategy for reducing its environmental impact.

International tourism is slowly recovering as governments ease restrictions on travel to an increasing number of countries. The EBRD is supporting training programmes to equip local youth with qualifications to help them find jobs in the tourism sector. In addition, the Bank is helping reduce gender gaps in access to employment and services in the sector through equal-opportunity initiatives and the design of gender-responsive infrastructure.

With eyes on the EU market, Novi Stil from Jagodina invests in quality to become more competitive. Together with the EU, the EBRD is helping the Serbian furniture manufacturer to invest in modern equipment. “Our work helps SMEs to boost their competitiveness by providing them with well-structured finance for investments in equipment to improve production processes, implement international standards and so on,” says Matteo Colangeli, EBRD Regional Director for the Western Balkans and Head of Serbia.

In the Kyrgyz Republic the EBRD, the EU and the European Investment Bank are joining forces to rebuild the water infrastructure in Kara-Suu, where only half of the residents are served by the municipal water company, while the rest use street taps or own wells. “Soon we will start running water through the new lines. With reduced water losses and increased water production, we will be able to provide water services to all 25,000 people and even connect new customers from neighbouring villages,” says Altyn Shamshiev, the Chief Engineer at Kara-Suu’s municipal water company.

In Ukraine, the company Amethyst Ole supplies local and international berry lovers with blueberries, the ultimate “superfood” organic product. Together with the EU, the Bank has helped the company to upgrade its production and boost exports. 

Rania Al-Mashat, Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, met with Heike Harmgart, EBRD Managing Director for SEMED, to follow up on the ongoing negotiations to prepare for the new country strategy for 2021 - 2026.

Zsuzsanna Hargitai, EBRD Managing Director for Central Asia, spoke to Qazaq TV about the Bank’s activities in Kazakhstan and Central Asia, green economy, political risks and nuclear remediation in the region.

The Turkish news paper Daily Sabah reported that green investments and energy efficiency projects in Turkey are getting a major boost through a €500 million investment by the EBRD supported by €20 million co-financing from the Clean Technology Fund.

The SeeNews agency reported on EBRD plans to further expand its GEFF programme in the Western Balkans in 2022, following successful investments of around €45 million in household energy efficiency improvements in the region to date.

The completion of a new landfill in Georgia’s Adjara region was reported by the newswire georgis.ge. Two existing landfills in the same region will soon be closed in the cities of Batumi and Kobuleti with financing provided by the EBRD and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

We welcomed the UAE to the EBRD family! UAE has become a full member of the Bank.

EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso was in Brussels this week to meet the EU Commissioner for Budget and Administration, Johannes Hahn and the EU Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli.

EBRD Vice-President Alain Pilloux took part in the launch of Bishkek's wastewater collector pipe construction.

EBRD Managing Director for Green Economy and Climate Action Harry Boyd-Carpenter explained why increasing corporate disclosure about climate change is crucial to mobilise more climate action in emerging markets.

We celebrated a big milestone for Belgrade's Vinča landfill project with the opening of a new sanitary landfill, which is replacing the old uncontrolled dumpsite.

Our EBRD Econ Talks are back! Next week Beata Javorcik, Mike Spence, Jean Pisani-Ferry and Jonathan Charles will discuss what the implications of COP26 are for the EBRD regions.

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