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Introduction by the Governor of the Bank of Greece Yannis Stournaras to the presentation of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Transition Report 2015-2016

16/11/2015 - Speeches

It gives me great pleasure to welcome Hans Peter Lankes, acting Chief Economist of the EBRD, and his colleagues to the Bank of Greece.

This is not the first time that the Transition Report has been presented at the Bank of Greece. However, this time is particularly significant since earlier this year the EBRD responded positively to a request from the Greek authorities to temporarily invest in Greece; investment will take place over the period up to 2020 and, as a consequence of its new role in the country, it has also set up a local office.

Greece will benefit greatly from the expertise and the finance that the EBRD can bring to projects designed to contribute to sustainable growth and encourage trade. Its commitment to the country sends a strong signal to private sector investors that Greece is serious about reform and rebalancing its economy.

To this end, the 2015 Transition Report is of particular relevance to Greece with its myriad of small and medium-sized enterprises and its need for further investment in infrastructure. The Report focuses on the types of finance required for sustainable growth. Following the financial crisis, many of the countries in which the EBRD operates have stagnated and an investment gap has emerged which is, at least partially, linked to a lack of finance and financing options. The report thus considers various aspects of financing – debt versus equity (including private equity), domestic versus external, foreign versus local currency. Throughout the crisis, Greek enterprises have been facing very tight financial conditions, in spite of the loose monetary policy and extensive non-standard measures adopted by the ECB. The issues of how financing can be kick-started and how financing sources can be diversified are of particular relevance. Thus, I am confident that the report will contain many insights for Greece.

Related external link:
EBRD Transition Report 2015-16

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