EBRD could assume even bigger role in Eastern Europe's future

  • 2000-05-25
RIGA (BNS) - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in
the future should assume an even bigger role in promoting development
of Eastern European countries, EBRD board chairman and Finnish Finance
Minister Sauli Niinisto said May 21, at the opening of the EBRD annual
meeting in Riga.

He stressed the previous year was difficult but the pessimistic
forecasts have not come true as all Eastern European and CIS countries
have overcome the crisis successfully and the investment environment is
continuing to improve. The bank has also given an impetus for
attracting cross border cooperation and investment and this is
especially noticeable in the Baltics. Niinisto stressed the Baltic
region has major potential because it is a link between Russia, Nordic
countries and Poland.The bank in the future should assume a more active
role in concrete projects, he said noting that financing by the EBRD
for realistic projects should be increased.

Niinisto also said the EBRD operations should be made more rational,
bureaucracy should be reduced and interests rates should be made more

With the European Union integration process developing, money is
increasingly demanded for these purposes as well and the EBRD together
with the EU and the European Investment Bank will continue financing
both private and state infrastructure projects in the EU candidate

The minister also called on Western countries to contribute to
development of the Eastern European countries by opening their markets
and promoting reforms in these countries.