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16 March 2016, 19:12

Economy Ministry, EBRD discuss new strategy for Belarus

MINSK, 16 March (BelTA) – Belarusian Economy Minister Vladimir Zinovsky and Alain Pilloux, Vice President for Policy and Partnerships of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), have discussed a new EBRD strategy for Belarus for 2016-2019, the press service of the Belarusian Economy Ministry told BelTA.

According to the source, Vladimir Zinovsky and Alain Pilloux met on 16 March. The meeting primarily focused on the development of a new EBRD strategy for Belarus for 2016-2019 as well as the expansion of the Bank's operation in the country.

The Economy Minister thanked the EBRD management for their constructive attitude towards Belarus. He remarked that the advancement of the balanced and pragmatic dialogue between the Belarus government and the EBRD had facilitated the considerable expansion of the Bank's operations in the country. In the last three years the portfolio of operations increased by more than 2.5 times and now stands at €555 million. Landmark investment projects in the private business sector have been implemented with the EBRD's assistance. Mechanical engineering and woodworking factories have been commissioned among other things.

“I believe we are now at a stage when it is important to prudently and constructively evaluate results of our cooperation, the available potential for expanding this cooperation. It is important to advance to a brand new level — a full-fledged fully fleshed-out result-oriented strategy. We are convinced that the adoption of a new country strategy aimed at the Bank's full participation in project financing in Belarus will herald a new stage in our relations where the results will be even better than in the previous period that had rather impressive results,” the Economy Minister stated during the meeting.

Vladimir Zinovsky said that the Belarus government looks at projects in the sphere of housing and utility services, energy industry, energy effectiveness, and transport infrastructure as promising avenues of cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. “Belarus highly appreciates the EBRD's efforts to support the development of small and medium enterprises. We are interested in restoring the previous volumes of funding as part of microlending programs for SMEs and foreign trade support programs,” noted the Economy Minister.

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