EBRD looks to expand regional projects portfolio in Central Asia - regional head

EBRD looks to expand regional projects portfolio in Central Asia - regional head

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Sept. 24

By Klavdiya Romakayeva - Trend:

EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development) looks to expand regional projects' portfolio, newly appointed EBRD’s regional head for Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan Ayten Rustamova told Trend in an interview.

According to Rustamova, EBRD has strategies for every country and these strategies are developed for a five-year period.

"We are doing a lot of projects in the private sector of Turkmenistan. We are doing many energy and municipal projects in Tajikistan, and we are also very strong in the private sector in Kyrgyzstan. I hope we can basically make each other stronger and do some projects from a regional perspective as well. It could be healthy competition, which makes everybody at the end a bit stronger, more advanced, and better," Rustamova said.

"Each of my three countries has a strategy that defines what we should do in the country within five years. Usually, we support the private sector because it is our mandate. We also support infrastructure and human capital in many ways. I wouldn’t say it is a new strategy, but it will continue the implementation of our existing strategies," she added.

"You are stronger if you build up on achievements that are already in place. One of the strengths of the bank is that it has local offices and local know-how. Teams in all my three countries are very strong. As a woman, I like the sort of uniting so that we can all try to be helpful for each other", Rustamova noted, answering the question on what makes her different from the previous regional heads of EBRD.

EBRD Chief Spokesman Central Asia, Russia, Belarus, Mongolia Anton Usov who participated in the interview stressed that EBRD pays special attention to a proper gender balance.

"Giving a chance to females to be senior managers will make our institutions better. That is something we are pursuing across all countries in operation. It is not a big secret that it is a long way to go to this for women to be on the board of big companies and to be in charge of large corporations. That is the agenda EBRD is pursuing and that is something which we will be doing in Central Asia for years to come," he said.

"One of the things I have been practicing for the last four years in Tajikistan is to go to the bottom of the problems and understand why something is not working. I am hoping to do this in all three countries and maybe go to the areas which are not so comfortable," Rustamova added.

In addition, regarding the first steps planned to take in these countries as a regional head, Rustamova said that she plans to meet with people and try to build up connections with them.

"I strongly believe in human interaction. It never harms to go in and to say that, especially now in this strange time to show that we are committed. So, the first step will be to create these links that I think will make everything much easier. I hope that will help the teams as well," she said.

Ayten Rustamova has been appointed Regional Head of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). She will be based in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. Rustamova assumed her duties on September 1, 2021.

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Follow the author on Twitter: @romakayeva

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