July 12, 2017
On June 22, 2017, JICA Research Institute (JICA-RI) hosted the public seminar "The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Role of Japan" at the JICA Ichigaya Building in Tokyo. Pierre Heilbronn, Vice President, Policy and Partnerships at EBRD, gave a lecture at the event.
In his opening address, JICA-RI Director Naohiro Kitano welcomed Heilbronn. Kitano also introduced a JICA-RI research on remittances and household finances in Tajikistan with the aim of providing policy recommendations on how to attract more investment from overseas nationals, as well as on measures related to reintegration of returnees.
Heilbronn gave an overview of the EBRD and a presentation on its main activities, future strategy and policies, the cooperative relationship with Japan, and the markets and businesses of Central Asia. Established in 1991 following the end of the Cold War, the EBRD is an international financial institution that supports more than 30 countries, from Central Europe to Central Asia. In recent years, it has expanded its operation to Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Jordan. To date, the EBRD has invested approximately €116 billion in more than 4,700 projects, particularly in the private sector, thereby promoting transition to market economies. He also explained that the Central Asia region is a high priority area in 2017.
Heilbronn pointed out that Japan accounts for 9% of the EBRD’s capital, and has a strong cooperative relationship with the EBRD. Further, as of June 2017, Japan has invested €4.1 billion out of the €9.1 billion jointly invested with the EBRD in Turkey, Hungary, Poland, and other areas. In relation to Japan, he said expectations are particularly high for use of the technology and expertise of Japanese companies especially toward development in Mongolia.
In addition, Heilbronn introduced the case of a wind power generation project in Mongolia as an example. It was JICA’s first co-financing arrangement with EBRD through its Private Sector Investment Finance scheme.
Heilbronn ended by saying that Japan, a founding member of the EBRD, is an important partner, and he desires to strengthen the cooperation with Japanese organizations and businesses further in the future.
During the question and answer session, a variety of questions were asked regarding such as collaboration with the EU countries, and the criteria for selecting the targets of investment, and then a lively exchange of opinions took place.