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The OPEC Fund and EBRD prepare ground for increased cooperation
OPEC Fund Director-General Dr. Abdulhamid Alkhalifa.
Vienna, Austria, 13 October 2020. The OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) has signed an amended Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to support increased development cooperation.
The MoU provides a platform for enhanced engagement and strengthens the ability of the two development institutions to co-finance sovereign and non-sovereign projects, improve joint project preparation and technical assistance, and enhance knowledge sharing.
Signing the agreement on behalf of the OPEC Fund, Director-General Dr. Abdulhamid Alkhalifa said: “As the pandemic continues to play out across the globe, it is more important than ever for us to work together toward our common cause. We must continue to innovate and become more agile to meet rapidly changing demands in our operating environment. Our strategic framework guides us to drive development, strengthen communities and empower people. This aligns with EBRD’s focus on equality of opportunities through access to skills and employment, finance and entrepreneurship support.”
The EBRD’s Acting President Jürgen Rigterink said: “The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has been a huge challenge to the countries where the EBRD works. At the EBRD, we have responded by committing all our activity in 2020 and 2021 – expected to amount to €21 billion – to countering its economic impact. In that context we are working with multiple partners globally to strengthen development cooperation, notably with the OPEC Fund, with which we have today agreed to jointly work more closely to support our countries of cooperation to respond to such challenges.”
Due to overlapping goals, the OPEC Fund and EBRD already collaborate on development initiatives – via its private, public and trade financing mechanisms, the OPEC Fund has co-financed 21 transactions with EBRD. In addition, back in 2006, the OPEC Fund worked closely with EBRD on the launch of its Trade Finance window that has since approved more than US$4 billion for trade finance operations in developing countries around the world. Similarly, a trade finance risk-sharing program between the two institutions has supported trade across mutual countries of operations since 2007.
About the EBRD
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) was founded in 1991 to create a new post-Cold War era in central and eastern Europe. It now works across 38 economies and three continents to further progress towards “market-oriented economies and the promotion of private and entrepreneurial initiative”. Uniquely for a development bank, the EBRD has a political mandate in that it assists only those countries “committed to and applying the principles of multi-party democracy and pluralism”. Safeguarding the environment and a commitment to sustainable energy have also always been central to the EBRD’s activity.
About the OPEC Fund
The OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) works in cooperation with developing country partners and the international development community to stimulate economic growth and social progress in low- and middle-income countries around the world. The organization was established by the member countries of OPEC in 1976 with a distinct mandate: to drive development, strengthen communities and empower people. The OPEC Fund’s work is people-centered, focusing on financing projects that meet essential needs, such as food, energy, infrastructure, employment (particularly relating to MSMEs), clean water and sanitation, healthcare and education. Our vision is a world where sustainable development is a reality for all.