The FINANCIAL — The EBRD is to start investing in Lebanon after the Bank’s Board of Governors decided in favour of Lebanon’s application to become a country of operations.
The EBRD will contribute to the development of Lebanon’s economy through investments and advisory services. The Bank will support private sector competitiveness, promote the sustainable supply of energy, and enhance the quality and efficiency of public service delivery.
EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti said: “We are very pleased to welcome Lebanon today into our family of countries of operations. We are looking forward to launching swiftly our activities in Lebanon and establishing an official representation in the country. The EBRD can apply its financial resources and expertise to boost the country’s economy and provide new opportunities to its people.”
The EBRD supports economic development and transition to strengthen the private sector with investments based on a sound business approach and policy dialogue. While the EBRD is working closely with donor governments and benefitting from their support, the Bank’s funding is provided on commercial terms, according to EBRD.
As a country of operations, Lebanon joins the EBRD’s southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region, which also includes Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia where the EBRD has been investing and engaged in policy reforms since 2012.
In May 2017 the EBRD’s Board of Governors also approved the Bank’s engagement in the West Bank and Gaza for an initial period of five years to support the development of the economy with investments through trust funds.
To date the Bank has invested some €5.2 billion in 130 projects across the SEMED region in natural resources, financial institutions, agribusiness, manufacturing and services as well as in infrastructure projects such as power, municipal water and wastewater, and transport services. Of these investments, 71 per cent are in the private sector.
The EBRD was established in 1991 with the goal of supporting market economies and promoting the private sector. Having started in central and eastern Europe, today the Bank operates on three continents in 37countries, from Morocco to Mongolia and from Estonia to Egypt, and in the West Bank and Gaza.