The FINANCIAL -- The EBRD and Italy’s Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) have agreed to partner in the European development cooperation and to develop their collaboration within the European Union’s financing mechanisms.
A Memorandum of Understanding, signed by EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti and Fabio Gallia, CEO of CDP, at the Bank’s headquarters in London today, states that “the parties wish to explore the possibility to enter into joint collaboration by enhancing cooperation, coordination and dialogue on key common priorities.”
Areas of common interest mentioned in the document include cooperation in the Western Balkans with blended financing and the promotion of the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Western Balkans, Turkey, the southern and eastern Mediterranean and Central Asia, according to the EBRD.
Building on the EBRD’s expertise and the strategic interest of the Italian economy, the parties will look at ways to support the expansion of Italian SMEs throughout its region.
EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti said: “We are very pleased to sign this memorandum today on the eve of our third Western Balkans Investment Summit. This is a region of intense interest and strategic importance for Italy as much as for the Bank and we look forward to working with CDP to strengthen our cooperation. Italy is a founding member of the EBRD and this new initiative will add to the strength and depth of our joint activities.”
Fabio Gallia, CEO of Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, added: “The western region of the Balkans Peninsula is of great strategic interest for Italian SMEs as well as the subject of intense infrastructural and economic development. Starting today, CDP and the EBRD are pooling their international cooperation instruments to create projects, synergies and relationships that can benefit the territories, people and companies with the highest growth potential.”
Established in 1991, the EBRD supports economic transition through development of the private sector and the green economy. Today the Bank operates in 38 countries on three continents and combines investments with policy engagement aimed at creating the institutional framework for successful economic development.
CDP is a publicly-owned Italian investment bank established in 1850 and a key instrument for the central government to finance the development of Italy’s economy. CDP is the country’s third largest lender in terms of assets and in recent years has focused increasingly on growing its portfolio. In 2009 CDP founded the Long-Term Investors Club with France’s Caisse des Dépôts, Germany’s KfW and the European Investment Bank.
Italy is a leading source of foreign direct investment in the EBRD’s countries of operations. The value of joint Italy-EBRD investment stood at €20.5 billion as of January 2018. Italian investment with the EBRD has been particularly strong in Poland, Turkey, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania. The two partners are working together in all sectors of the economy, ranging from the financial sector to industry and from infrastructure to agribusiness. As a donor, Italy is one of the major contributors to the EBRD’s technical and investment cooperation funds with €131 million provided since 1992.