The FINANCIAL -- EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti has visited Portugal, a founding shareholder country of the EBRD.
He met Portuguese authorities and businesses, and attended the 47th Annual Tidewater Meeting, an informal exchange of views between ministers and the heads of international aid and development agencies organised by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
The Tidewater Meeting discussed ways to deliver the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Sir Suma discussed the Bank’s commitment and work towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and outlined the EBRD’s business model that leverages private sector finance to achieve them. Participants agreed that engaging the private sector is key to reaching the estimated US$ 3 trillion needed per year to implement the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, according to EBRD.
Sir Suma said: “Today’s SDGs cannot be delivered by the public sector and grant aid alone. Private sector delivery and financing needs to be leveraged and the EBRD stands ready to share its extensive experience in this field.”
On the sidelines of the meeting, the President also met the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and representatives of the international development community.
President Chakrabarti met the Portuguese Minister of Finance and EBRD Governor, Mario Centeno. They discussed the Bank’s activities and latest operational results which showed that the EBRD was making a strong impact on the ground in its countries of operations. Sir Suma thanked Portugal for its long-standing commitment to the EBRD as a donor.
Sir Suma stressed that renewable energy investments are a particular focus of cooperation between Portuguese companies and the EBRD in the Bank’s region of operations, especially in eastern Europe. Portugal itself, until recently dependent on imported energy, is rapidly moving towards energy independence thanks to an effective domestic renewable energy programme.
He also met representatives from the business community, including João Marques da Cruz, Board Member of the utility EDP Group whose subsidiary EDPR has renewable energy co-investments with the EBRD in Poland and Romania, and Jorge de Melo, Board Member of the agribusiness company Sovena which cooperates with the Bank in Tunisia. President Chakrabarti also met the Chairman of the national business and investment agency, AICEP, Luis Castro Henriques.
The meetings provided President Chakrabarti with the opportunity to emphasise further business opportunities for Portuguese companies in the Bank’s countries of operations. He particularly highlighted the southern and eastern Mediterranean region where the Bank has become a leading player with cumulative investments approaching €5 billion, and invited investors and entrepreneurs to the Bank’s next business forum for the region, which will take place in November in Cairo, Egypt.