The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) plans to increase the financing of projects in Belarus in 2018, the Head of the EBRD Office in Belarus Alexander Pivovarsky told reporters in Minsk.
“Our loan portfolio in Belarus currently makes up about €500 million. I hope it will become even bigger by the end of this year. In 2017, the volume of operations in Belarus amounted to €163 million (up €40 million over 2016). Our goal is to continue to grow and approach the level we had before the crisis of 2014 - €250 million,” Pivovarsky was quoted as saying by the BelTA news agency.
According to Alexander Pivovarsky, the growth of financing in Belarus is expected due to several factors. First, the EBRD is increasing operations in the private sector, and secondly, major projects are planned in the area of privatisation and public-private partnership.
Speaking about the implementation of the PPP project (the reconstruction of the M10 highway), the head of the EBRD office noted that the Belarusian government should approve it in the near future. “We hope to hold the presentation event in London in a couple of months. It is important as it can help attract resources that are simply not available in Belarus today. If we take a look at a range of potential stakeholders, we will see that they are from different regions. Companies from Turkey and Brazil are showing their interest. This will be a new source of financing infrastructure in the country,” said Alexander Pivovarsky.
The head of the EBRD's office also said that the bank is planning several interesting projects in the municipal sector. “We are currently discussing interesting projects in Minsk. There is a large-scale project with Minskvodokanal, which we want to implement together with the European Investment Bank. Apart from that, we soon plan to complete the project on energy efficiency of residential buildings in the Belarusian capital,” he said.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is the biggest institutional investor in the Belarusian economy. The bank's aggregate volume of operations in the country has almost reached €2 billion. It is is a key partner in implementing private sector development projects funded by the European Union in Belarus under the EU4Business initiative.