Kocharian receives EBRD president


May 19 2004

YEREVAN, MAY 19, ARMENPRESS: Armenian president Robert Kocharian
received today a delegation of the European Bank for Reconstruction and
Development (EBRD), led by its president Jean Lamierre. Kocharian was
quoted by his press office as saying that Armenia is strongly committed
to expanding the frames of cooperation with EBRD with more active
involvement of the Bank in the economic development of the country.

Jean Lamierre will visit also the neighboring Georgia and Azerbaijan to
meet with heads of state, senior government officials, business leaders
and members of the international community based in the region. The
main goal of the visit is to reinforce the Bank’s commitment to all
three countries. In particular he is expected to emphasize how the Bank
can use new initiatives to help these countries address investment
needs in areas ranging from privatizations and infrastructure to
the support of individual entrepreneurs, apart from the need for
authorities to tackle corruption and improve the rule of law to
attract much-needed investment.

The visit comes on the back of a new EBRD initiative to support
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Tajikistan
and Uzbekistan , where more than 50 per cent of the population live in
poverty. The Bank aims to support also more private-sector development,
particularly focused on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. The
EBRD has invested around Euros 700 million across the three countries,
in projects ranging from banking to infrastructure and energy to
supporting small and medium-sized enterprises.