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FAO Director-General meets with the President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Strengthening policy work, key to enhancing investments in agriculture and agribusinesses in the region

15 July 2014, Rome – FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva today met with the President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Suma Chakrabati.

Both emphasized the importance of strengthening policy work to enhance investments in agriculture and agribusiness throughout the region.

Graziano da Silva and Chakrabati noted the successful EastAgri 2014 meeting held in Belgrade in June, and welcomed the extension on its occasion of the FAO/EBRD Framework Agreement. The event was organized by FAO and the EBRD with financial support of the World Bank.

Under the title “Best food: How to produce both quality and quantity in Europe and Central Asia”, the meeting brought together over 120 senior representatives from private sector companies, government officials, international financial institutions (IFIs), development agencies, and donor governments to discuss how to stimulate investment in the agribusiness sector to help meet this dual objective.

Both sides agreed to increase efforts to promote private sector investment in agribusiness in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region, where the Bank is expanding its activities.

They also discussed the upcoming high-level, 2nd International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), which FAO and the World Health Organization are co-organizing. The importance of mobilizing agribusiness for participation in the ICN2 was emphasized.

FAO and the EBRD are increasing efforts to promote private sector investment in agribusiness in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region (SEMED), through a series of new technical assistance projects.

2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the signature of the first cooperation agreement between both institutions. EBRD is now FAO’s second partner among financial institutions after the World Bank.

Cooperation focuses on areas where FAO’s technical expertise complements the EBRD’s banking teams. These include food chain analysis, support to the development of agricultural policies, development of new agricultural financial and risk management instruments. It also touches upon the promotion of quality standards, coordination of international financial institutions interventions in the agricultural sector and development of financial and investment products.