Sergei Roumas met with EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti

Belarus expects that a balance of interests will be secured in the Belinvestbank deal with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Prime Minister of Belarus Sergei Roumas made the relevant statement as he met with EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti on 4 March.

Sergei Roumas said: “Together with EBRD specialists we are now actively taking care of pre-privatization support for financial sector organizations and real economy ones. The largest and most significant project. We expect the EBRD team to pursue a fair approach to structuring the deal and are interested in mutually beneficial cooperation based on a balance of interests.”

The prime minister was also satisfied with progress in the EBRD’s efforts to become a Priorbank shareholder. “We are convinced that this deal will open a new stage in our cooperation in finance,” he said.

Speaking about real economy sector enterprises, Sergei Roumas mentioned that several pre-privatization support projects are in the works. The Belarusian side believes that all possible conditions and consequences of decisions should be carefully and comprehensively evaluated. And such decisions should be prepared taking into account national interests.

The Belarusian head of government expressed gratitude to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for assistance with preparing a pilot project designed to modernize the M10 motorway on public private partnership terms and for the opportunity to arrange a roadshow of the project in the EBRD HQ in January 2019.

Sergei Roumas believes that Belarus’ interaction with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development had reached a brand new level in the last few years. “In 2018 we managed to secure a record high volume of EBRD operations in Belarus – €360 million, this is why we strongly appreciate the support the bank extends and are interested in continuing the successful partnership in the public sector and the private one,” the prime minister stressed.

The Belarusian government pays close attention to the advancement of private initiative, the development of small and medium entrepreneurship as a driver of economic growth. “This is why we count on the bank’s support for this sector in Belarus,” Sergei Roumas said.

He also said, that Belarus would like to hold a national investment session in London in 2021, with the support of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. “We would like to hold a national investment session in 2021 as part of the annual meeting of the EBRD Board of Governors in London. Another initiative is to hold the annual meeting of the EBRD Board of Governors in Minsk in 2022. Belarus has a wide experience of holding such large-scale events, and I would like to assure you that we will make every effort to make sure the event is organized in the best possible way,” Sergei Roumas said.

According to him, Belarus seeks to expand cooperation with the EBRD and would like to see the Bank increase its operations in Belarus, including through projects in new areas and new formats of joint work.

Suma Chakrabarti believes that the interaction between the country and the Bank has noticeably strengthened over the four years since his first visit to Belarus. “ I find our cooperation with Belarus exemplary,” he said.

Following the meeting in the government, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Belarusian Transport and Communications Ministry and the EBRD to boost cooperation in the transport sector. The focus will be on the reconstruction of the highways M3 and M10 and also bridges.

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