May 26, 2010
JICA and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)  signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on May 15, 2010, with a view to strengthening their partnership for effective and sustainable economic and social development in Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central and East Asia. The MOU was signed by JICA Senior Special Advisor Hiroto Arakawa and EBRD Vice President Horst Reichenbach in Zagreb, Croatia, during the 19th EBRD annul meeting.
EBRD excels at investment finance to private sectors for transition to market economies in Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central and East Asia, while JICA has mainly assisted public sectors with a wide range of schemes such as concessionary lending, grant aid, and technical cooperation. The MOU aims to promote cooperation in a complementary manner between the two institutions by combining their expertise and thereby enhance development effectiveness in the above-mentioned regions. The areas the JICA-EBRD partnership will particularly focus on are 1) promotion of environmental conservation and global climate change, 2) improvement of investment climate and private sector development, and 3) enhancement of regional cooperation, through sharing country/sector assistance strategies, co-financing, cooperating with technical assistance, etc.
Countries in Central and Eastern Europe with relatively high income levels are moving forward for reforms to meet EU-oriented standards, setting EU accession as their long-term objectives, whereas they also have high expectations for assistance utilizing Japanese industrial technology. Although these countries are expected to graduate from economic assistance in the not too distant future, their economic development is significantly slowing down because of the recent global financial and economic crisis, and it is necessary to work out crisis response operations and to elaborate strategic assistance for long-term relationship with these countries.
Countries in the Caucasus and Central and East Asia are endowed with abundant natural resources such as oil and natural gas, achieving remarkable economic development in recent years, while economies are affected by political instability or security problems. Assistance for sustainable economic development is therefore required in these regions.
As described above, stable and sustainable economic development in these regions are significantly important for both Japan and the international community, and JICA will continue its effective assistance in the regions with a much bigger impact by mobilizing resources from Multilateral Development Banks and other donor institutions including EBRD.