BAKU, Azerbaijan, Mar. 16
By Eldar Janashvili – Trend:
During the visit of the First Vice President of the European Bank for Development and Reconstruction Jurgen Rigterink to Azerbaijan, three main directions have been discussed with the Government, Head of the EBRD Representative Office in Azerbaijan Ivana Duarte told Trend.
So, according to Duarte, efforts were discussed to promote the diversification of the Azerbaijani economy by supporting the development of the private sector in the non-oil sector and strengthening the management of private and state-owned companies; further expanding access to finance for local enterprises by encouraging lending by banks and non-banking financial institutions and helping to strengthen the local currency and capital markets, as well as supporting the country's green economy, including financing for renewable energy sources, improving energy efficiency and cleaner transport and sustainable infrastructure.
“We observe an encouraging progress in the “green zone” of our cooperation. The authorities are strongly committed to the development of renewable energy, and we strongly support this commitment. As the leading source of financing renewable energy in our region, we are leading efforts to introduce competitive renewable energy tenders through auctions in the country," the EBRD head for Azerbaijan said.
The Bank’s management representative noted that the EBRD’s work is aimed at helping Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Energy determine real market prices for specific renewable energy sources and create a fair, transparent auction process with a view to financial participation, and after creating a new legislative framework to support renewable energy sources.
The Bank is ready to offer tangible support, such as technical assistance and loans, which will help the municipal authorities improve the quality of life of the local residents, Duarte said.
"We have just started cooperating with the city of Ganja, which was the first in Azerbaijan to join our successful program of sustainable urban development called the Green Cities of the EBRD. My colleagues visited Ganja on March 10 and together with the city’s authorities began the process of determining the first investment project, within which we are considering the possibility of modernizing street lighting, urban transport and solid waste management," she said.
“The city will also benefit from the support provided by the EBRD to the “green cities” to develop the Green City Individual Action Plan (GCAP), which addresses environmental issues, prioritizes and links them to sustainable infrastructure investments and policy measures,” Duarte noted.
During the conversations of Rigterink with the Azerbaijani authorities, an assistance was also offered to commercialize and privatize state-owned companies, including the International Bank of Azerbaijan, the representative of the Bank’s management said.
“If the government wants us to play our part in this process, we are ready to bring in rich experience, consultations and financing that can help state enterprises become more modern, more efficient and more profitable, which will make them more attractive for potential investors,” Duarte added.
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