BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 15
By Nargiz Sadikhova - Trend:
The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) signed 14 new agreements on investment projects totaling $1.2 billion as of December 20, 2020), the EDB told Trend.
As reported, the investment portfolio of the EDB was expected to reach $4.4 billion by the end of 2020, an increase was estimated at 2.2 percent ($93 million) compared to 2019.
According to the bank, the COVID-19 pandemic has become a challenge not only for its member states, but also for the bank itself. In the current difficult conditions and the post-crisis period, it is important to ensure the sustainability of economic development and integration cooperation between the member states of the EDB.
“In order to help overcome the negative consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the bank is implementing anti-crisis support measures in three areas. First, as part of supporting the affected business entities - the current borrowers of the EDB, the bank provided preferential conditions, exemption from requirements for violations of non-monetary financing conditions, providing an additional deadline for their implementation for borrowers on projects in the member states,” the bank noted.
In turn, the second direction of the EDB's anti-crisis work is to support investment activities to ensure the sustainability of the economic development of the EDB member states.
“The EDB ensured the continuity of implementation of landmark investment projects in our countries, including, for example, the construction and operation of the BAKAD highway as part of the Europe-Western China international transit road corridor in Kazakhstan; financing of the investment program of Belaruskali OJSC in Belarus, construction and operation of the fourth start-up complex of the TsKAD highway (TsKAD-4) in Russia,” the report said.
“In the third area, the EDB will use resources to participate in plans for anti-crisis support for business entities of the member states, including support for small and medium-sized businesses, targeted support for business entities in the affected industries of the EDB member states, and support for trade and economic relations of the EDB member states,” said the message.
“In particular, within the framework of a joint program with the Russian Export Center, the EDB provided a credit line for the supply of ambulance vehicles for the needs of the healthcare system of Kazakhstan. Also, through joint programs with financial institutions of Belarus, financing of targeted support programs in the amount of almost $ 200 million was provided,” the bank stressed.
The EDB noted that on June 30, 2020, the Council of the bank established the EDB Digital Initiatives Fund.
“To date, the fund has held a competition for the best digital solutions to counter the spread and overcome the negative consequences of the COVID-19 coronavirus infection pandemic in the Eurasian space. Within the Competition, the bank received 163 applications from companies from all EDB member countries. At the final stage of the Contest, 4 winners were determined,” the bank said.
According to the EDB representative, the fund has worked out and initiated the issue of creating a mobile application ‘Traveling without COVID-19’.
“Also, a single platform is being created, contributing to the establishment of a single labor market for the migration of citizens of countries. The bank has created and is successfully operating a settlement platform in national currencies, which is necessary for the establishment of a Single Settlement Area. Such settlements are now in great demand in our countries, direct cross-border payments can reduce dependence on currencies and payment systems of third countries in settlements between the EAEU countries, including using digital technologies. The work to promote digital transformation as one of the key areas for the development of the EDB's activities,” the bank said.