The FINANCIAL — The President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Sir Suma Chakrabarti, led a small Bank delegation to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, where discussions focused on the response from global leaders to world economic challenges.
The EBRD President also held discussions with the heads of other regional and multilateral developments banks.
Together with colleagues, he also met senior officials from EBRD shareholder countries, outlining the Bank’s overall strategy and discussing priorities for some individual countries.
The overarching theme of this year’s annual meeting in the Swiss alpine town was “Responsive and Responsible Leadership”.
Ahead of the 17-20 January meetings, the WEF chairman and founder Klaus Schwab wrote: “As the past year has demonstrated, leaders must be responsive to the demands of the people who have entrusted them to lead, while also providing a vision and a way forward, so that people can imagine a better future.”
Sir Suma was a keynote speaker at a meeting in Davos entitled “Leadership in the Age of Technological Revolution”. At the event, hosted by Sberbank, the EBRD President, alongside other senior figures from the world of finance and business and academia, outlined his view on how leaders had to respond to rapid technological change.
He also explained how the EBRD was scaling up its response to climate change at a session hosted by HSBC and moderated by world climate expert Lord Stern.
Sir Suma used the event as an opportunity to map out the EBRD’s own vision for the future of its regions, arguing that this was not the time to reject the globalisation that had made such progress in reducing poverty and increasing standards of living, according to EBRD.
However, he repeated the Bank’s view that improvements were needed in how to share the fruits of economic growth more fairly. He argued for: “better globalisation, not less of it”.
The EBRD President also reported on a strong year of investments by the Bank, which financed 378 projects in 2016 worth €9.4 billion, matching the previous record set in 2015.
He also explained how the EBRD had updated its transition concept in 2016. In order to equip its countries better for the challenges of the 21stcentury, the new concept ensures that projects do not just aim to make economies more competitive, but also more inclusive, well-governed, green, resilient and integrated.