EBRD launches new strategy for Estonia
London, United Kingdom – The EBRD has adopted a new country strategy for Estonia
which focuses on energy efficiency and a drive to widen further the scope of the country’s already advanced economic development.
In its assessment, the EBRD states that Estonia has made significant progress in the transition to a modern market economy and the country is now one of the most open and competitive economies in the world. The economy grew by 9.8 per cent during 2005 and the fiscal position remained strong.
A few challenges remain, however, which the EBRD is ready to tackle in order to further increase the competitiveness of the Estonian economy:
- Energy efficiency is not yet fully compliant with EU energy regulations and renewable energy in particular needs further regulatory strengthening;
- In general industry, the further stimulation of enterprise development in poorer regions remains a key challenge. Small and medium-sized enterprises need a broader range of financial instruments to develop dynamically.
In accordance with this analysis, the EBRD’s activities in Estonia will be based on the following objectives:
- Support for the development of renewable energy projects;
- Support for the expansion of local companies, particularly in cross-border projects by providing long term risk capital;
- Promotion of SME and municipal financing and energy efficiency; and
- Support for complex transactions across sectors, including public private partnerships, which would benefit from the Bank’s expertise in project structuring and mobilisation of co-financing.
To date, the EBRD has signed 48 direct and 24 regional projects for Estonia with a total investment of €1.18 billion, of which the Bank provided €470 million, or 40 per cent.