Yesterday in Naypyidaw the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union’s long-term financing institution, and the Republic of the Union of Myanmar signed a Framework Agreement under which the Bank will be able to start financing capital investments in the country.
EIB Vice-President Román Escolano, who is in charge of EIB operations in Asia, underlined “the importance of the signature of this Framework Agreement at this very significant moment” and stated: “I am confident that this first milestone in the cooperation between Myanmar and the EIB will soon result in the implementation of projects that will help improve Myanmar’s economic prosperity and the quality of life of its people”.
His Excellency Roland Kobia, Head of the EU Delegation in Myanmar, added: “The signature of an Agreement between Myanmar and the European Investment Bank marks yet another step in supporting the transition and socioeconomic development of Myanmar. The EIB will be able to contribute to projects that will promote the development of the country and make people’s lives better in practical terms. The Agreement is a critical milestone on the road of EU-Myanmar cooperation. It unlocks the opportunity of blending the important grants provided by the European Union with loans from the EIB, maximising the impact of public EU money and reducing Myanmar’s borrowing costs.”
The EIB is the long-term lending institution of the European Union and its shareholders are the EU Member States. Its remit is to make long-term finance available for viable projects in order to contribute towards EU policy objectives. Outside the EU, the Bank support projects that contribute to economic development in countries that have signed association or cooperation agreements with the EU or its Member States.
In Asia, the European Investment Bank has so far signed Framework Agreements with Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam and Yemen.
The signing of the Framework Agreement marks the EIB’s first step towards supporting development projects in Myanmar. The EIB is cooperating closely with the European Commission and the EEAS in furthering the EU’s policy objectives in the country.
The EIB has been active in Asia since 1993 under mandates granted by the EU Council and the European Parliament. During this period the EU bank has signed contracts in the region totalling EUR 5.8 billion. On 1 July 2014 the EU’s new External Lending Mandate, covering the period 2014-2020, entered into force. Part of the current mandate is dedicated to Asia, enabling the EIB to finance operations that contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation or the development of sustainable economic infrastructure. Additionally, the EIB can also draw on its own resources under the Climate Action and Environment Facility or the Strategic Projects Facility to finance relevant projects on a selective basis.