The FINANCIAL — The President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Sir Suma Chakrabarti, has attended the 2018 World Economic Forum in Davos, where he called upon countries in the EBRD regions to take advantage of the current economic recovery to push forward reforms.
In bilateral meetings and during public statements, the EBRD President said the EBRD was well equipped and willing to carry on providing support for economic modernisation in the 38 economies where it is active, across three continents.
The Bank had invested a record €9.7 billion in 2017, and achieved ambitious targets for climate finance action three years ahead of schedule, he noted.
The EBRD President was accompanied by First Vice President Phil Bennett and Vice President Alain Pilloux who held discussions with many existing and potential business clients, with a view to stepping up even further the Bank’s investment in EBRD countries of operations.
In meetings with the heads of other mulilateral and regional development banks on the sidelines of the Davos forum, discussion focused on how the insitutions can best deliver the Sustainable Development Goals that must be achieved by 2030.
There was a particular focus on the need to galvanise the private sector in this endeavour, an area where the EBRD has particular expertise.
President Chakrabarti also highlighted the Bank’s increased focus on green financing. The EBRD devoted 43 per cent of its total 2017 investment to the green economy, above the 40 per cent target it had initially expected to achieve only by 2020, according to the EBRD.
In a panel discussion on investment in Ukraine, the EBRD President said he was confident that Ukraine’s political leaders had the courage to carry on driving forward reforms despite the approaching elections.
Speaking alongside Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Sir Suma Chakrabarti said many countries shied away from pushing through reforms in the run-up to national polls. But he did not believe this should be the case in Ukraine.
“The assault on vested interests must continue,” he said. “You have shown you have the courage to do this,” he told the Ukrainian leader.
Speaking as the head of the largest single investor in Ukraine, the EBRD President said: “We will support you in this endeavour.”
The EBRD has invested a total of €12 billion in Ukraine since the start of operations there 25 years ago. Some €3.5 billion of this amount has flowed to the country in the past four years, the EBRD President noted.
He referred specifically to the need for further improvements in governance. Progress had been made but corruption was still a barrier to foreign direct investment, he said.