European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to present at the Athens Investment Summit

Published on 25/01/2016 in Athens Investment Summit

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to present at the Athens Investment Summit


 

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has announced its participation in the Athens Investment Summit. Ms. Sabina Dziurman, EBRD Director for Greece and Cyprus, will present on EBRD operations in Greece and its and investment criteria in the morning plenary session on Financing Investments in Greece.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) was established to help build a new, post-Cold War era in Central and Eastern Europe. It has since played a historic role and gained unique expertise in fostering change in the region - and beyond.

Uniquely for a development bank, the EBRD has a political mandate in that it assists only those countries ‘committed to and applying the principles of multi-party democracy [and] pluralism’. Safeguarding the environment and a commitment to sustainable energy are also central to the EBRD’s activity.

The EBRD serves the interests of all its shareholders - 65 countries plus the European Union and the European Investment Bank - not just those countries which receive its investments (€9.4 billion in 2015).

The EBRD was set up to meet the challenge of an extraordinary moment in Europe’s history, the collapse of communism in its East. During the early 1990s the EBRD’s emphasis was on supporting the private sector as the main driver for change in Central and Eastern Europe. This was the period that established the EBRD’s reputation as an expert on transition to the open market.

It was heavily involved in areas such as banking systems reform, the liberalisation of prices, privatisation (legalisation and policy dialogue) and the creation of proper legal frameworks for property rights, all vital ingredients for change.

Such reforms were supported by sound advice, training and technical expertise, and supplemented by major investments in the private and public sectors. With domestic capital on its own insufficient to finance transition, the EBRD helped to bring in external capital from both private and public sources.

The EBRD has expanded its original region of operations into new countries such as Mongolia (in 2006), Turkey (2009), Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt and Kosovo (in 2012), Cyprus (2014) and Greece (2015). It is currently active in more than 30 countries from central Europe to central Asia and the southern and eastern Mediterranean

 

The EBRD in Greece

 

The EBRD will be investing in Greece on a temporary basis in response to a request from the Greek authorities to support reforms and a return to economic growth.

The EBRD’s shareholders have voted for the Bank to invest in Greece until the end of 2020.

EBRD investments – backed by donor-funded technical assistance and policy dialogue -are intended to strengthen progress in the reform of Greece’s economy and contribute to its recovery. The EBRD will deploy its experience and expertise in attracting and encouraging foreign and domestic investment, strengthening the role of the private sector and deepening regional integration.

Specifically, the Bank will help address the issue of insufficient capital for Greek private companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises. This is a key barrier to growth, where the EBRD can contribute significantly with its commercial debt and equity products and its risk-taking capacity.

The EBRD will also engage, where possible, in expanding the private sector’s role in infrastructure and energy. Greece is a natural trade and investment partner for many countries in south-eastern Europe where the EBRD has a strong presence. The Bank will support investments and policy measures which are conducive to integration. 

Greece is a founding member of the EBRD and to date Greek companies and banks have invested €2.3 billion in the EBRD’s existing countries of operations, with a focus on south-eastern Europe. Under the Vienna Initiative, the EBRD supported the subsidiaries of Greek banks in the region at the height of the global financial crisis.

The EBRD will now engage with the authorities to prepare a Country Strategy for Greece which will provide the framework for its engagement and identify priorities. 

For further information, please Contact the Athens Investment Summit.