MINSK, 21 November (BelTA) – The European Investment Bank (EIB) intends to invest €260 million in Belarus in 2019. EIB Vice President Alexander Stubb made the statement after meeting with Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko on 21 November, BelTA has learned.
The EIB vice president said: “We have some plans [to work with Belarus] in the future. For instance, next year we intend to invest €260 million.”
In his words, the meeting with the Belarusian head of state primarily focused on financial cooperation between the country and the bank. “Yesterday we signed several agreements on lending a total of €160 million for projects in Belarus. The first project deals with purification facilities. The second one deals with small and medium business. These projects are profitable both for the European Investment Bank and for the people of Belarus,” stressed the EIB vice president.
The meeting touched upon future joint projects such as the reconstruction of the M7 motorway as well as projects concerning power engineering and utilities.
“I look forward to productive, useful cooperation between Belarus and our bank,” said Alexander Stubb.
During the meeting the sides also discussed the international political situation. Alexander Stubb said: “Our thoughts about the political situation in the world turned out to be very similar. We talked about Brexit, the disposition of forces and balance between the key players such as America, Russia, and China.”
In his opinion, Belarus and Finland are similar in many things, including the fact that they border on Russia. “This is why it was interesting and important to learn that our opinions coincide in many respects,” he remarked.
BelTA reported earlier that on 20 November the European Investment Bank signed the first few agreements with Belarus to the tune of €160 million as part of the efforts to implement the Belarus-EIB framework agreement of 2017.
A Belarus-EIB financing agreement provides for investing in the reconstruction of the Minsk wastewater treatment plant. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will co-finance the project. Two credit agreements were signed with Belarusbank and Belagroprombank, which will channel the funds into supporting SMEs.
Belarus deems promising cooperation with the European Investment Bank in such areas as the implementation of infrastructure projects in the sphere of motorway reconstruction, projects to improve energy usage effectiveness, R&D projects, green production projects, and digital transformation projects. As part of the plans to step up operation in Belarus the bank is considering opening its office in the country.
The European Investment Bank is the European Union's bank that provides long-term finance and expertise for sustainable investment projects in Europe and outside its borders. The bank is owned by 28 European Union member states. The bank is the world's largest multilateral borrower and lender. The EIB is headquartered in Luxembourg. Its network includes more than 40 branch offices.More about Economy