The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development's Vice President for Policy Andras Simor visited the Belarusian capital of Minsk this week to meet with senior government officials.
Simor held talks with Prime Minister of Belarus Mikhail Myasnikovich, First Deputy Minister Vladimir Semashko, Minister of Economy Nikolai Snopkov and First Deputy Chairman of the National Bank Taras Nadolny. Simor also met with representatives of international financial institutions and members of the diplomatic community and existing EBRD clients.
Additionally, Simor hosted the official opening of the EBRD's new resident office in Minsk.
"The EBRD remains committed to Belarus and in particular to the development of the private sector," Simor said. "Subject to successful reforms in domestic politics and macroeconomic environment, we should be able to broaden our public sector involvement in the country."
EBRD operations in Belarus focus predominantly on private sector development. The bank has nearly quadrupled annual business investments and its portfolio of projects over the past three years. The EBRD invested $352 million through 14 projects and guarantees to commercial banks under its trade facilitation programme in 2013.
The bank's environmental infrastructure facility assists the towns of Baranovich, Slonim and Vitebsk to improve wastewater treatment.
"The successful implementation of our environmental infrastructure facility and a demonstrated commitment by the authorities to implement tariff reforms could pave the way for further investments in the municipal sector such as wastewater treatment and solid waste management," Simor said.
More than 60 Belarusian companies have received assistance through the EBRD's small business support program, which offers domestic businesses consultancy assistance meant to improve strategic planning, IT systems and quality control management.
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