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BEYOND20


COMMENT


Western Balkans, with a Joint IFI Action Plan following the financial crisis. In the years 2013 and 2014 alone, the


EBRD, the European Investment Bank and the World Bank Group together mobilised invest- ment equivalent to about 1.5 per cent of the gross domestic product of the Western Balkans, stabilising not only a fragile macroe- conomic environment, but pioneering new approaches such as the development of renew- able energy sources in one of Europe’s most environmentally stressed regions. The ERBD worked closely with the EU to support inclu- sive policy dialogue and give people hope for a better future. This example also illustrates how develop-


ment finance institutions can be first-movers to help overcome uncertainties and risks, clearing a path for investors to come in. Maximising development impact means focus- ing on the real economy and investing in inno- vative, high-impact projects. Development institutions cannot become start-ups; however, they can provide and mobilise the funds to let startups grow and thrive. Innovative approaches, including leveraging risk-taking capacity and strengthening equity invest- ments, are crucial.


Unitedwestand Finally, maximising the impact of multilateral development finance also means better coordi- nation of the work performed by the various institutions and agencies that exist in the field.


Never has the demand for their contribution been stronger. What is needed is a united agenda and a coordinated approach where the strengths of the multiple players can comple- ment each other. It is essential to go beyond iso- lated initiatives. Global problems require global responses. Multilateralism has been under great strain


in recent years, but the Covid-19 crisismay have made a reset both timely and more likely. Recent political developments inspire hope for a renewed dynamism in bolstering a global development finance system, which will be in high demand for many years to come. Following the recent US elections, there


are clear signs that the new administration wants to re-engage with multilateral partners for shared goals such as tackling climate change. For its part, the EU has stated its firm commitment to multilateralism and interna- tional partnerships, alongside raising its development impact and playing a more geo- political role. Multilateralism is all about making the


whole greater than the sum of its parts. Leveraging the renewed spirit of multilateral- ism and building on its strong track record of operational delivery, the EBRD is ready to do its part to shape a better future.■


Odile Renaud-Basso is the president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The EBRD invested €10.1bn through 452 projects in 2019 (Source: EBRD)


THERE AREMULTIPLIER EFFECTS THATCANBE GAINED FROMDEVELOPMENTFINANCE INSTITUTIONSWORKING ASASYSTEM


December 2020/January 2021 www.fDiIntelligence.com 35


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