On April 24, the EBRD’s Board of Directors has approved a new strategy for Romania which will guide the Bank’s investment and policy engagement in the country during the next five years. The EBRD work will include measures in response to the ongoing coronavirus crisis and efforts towards economic recovery.
The Bank is a major investor in Romania and combines investments with support for reforms that help improve the business environment in the country and mobilise investment from other sources. To date, the EBRD has invested almost EUR 8.7 billion in the Romanian economy.
In the period from 2020 to 2025, the EBRD’s investments and policy work will support:
- Sustainable infrastructure and regional development;
- Productivity by helping private companies expand and improve workforce skills;
- Financial intermediation and further development of capital markets.
“The EBRD is well placed to support the modernisation of the Romanian economy, including helping the country overcome the impact of coronavirus outbreak. We will channel investment into the areas where Romania needs the most support: building infrastructure, especially in the regions; boosting private sector productivity; and further developing the financial sector and capital markets,” Mark Davis, EBRD Regional Director for Romania and Bulgaria, said.
Romania at a glance
- 437 projects in Romania to date
- EUR 8,572 million of cumulative EBRD investment
- 68% private sector share of portfolio
- EUR 1,808 million current portfolio of projects
Loan to improve access to water and wastewater services in Buzau county
The EBRD decided to offer a loan worth EUR 20 million to the regional water and wastewater utility SC Compania de Apa SA Buzau. Thus, more than 210,000 citizens living in Buzau county will benefit from an improved access to water and wastewater services.
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic sheds new light on the importance of access to water. Poor water infrastructure puts communities at greater risk and exacerbates the economic costs of the outbreak, both in terms of national economies and household revenues – when people cannot work because of sickness or lockdowns.
The EBRD, which remains open for business in Romania and other countries where it invests, has been financing the Romanian water sector since 1995 and has provided a total of half a billion euros in loans to 24 water operators. It has also mobilised well over EUR 2 billion of EU funding for the country’s water and wastewater facilities.
The new financing to the Buzau water operator is part of a EUR 293 million regional investment programme, with the European Union (EU) extending funds under its Large Infrastructure Operational Programme.
The loan will help increase access to water and wastewater services with a particular focus on small communities of fewer than 10,000 people. The infrastructure upgrades will reduce water losses by 0.5 million m3 per year and will increase the volume of treated wastewater by 0.8 million m3 per year.
The financing for Apa Buzau is extended under the EBRD Sustainable Water Infrastructure Facility (SWIFT), which builds on the Bank’s long-term work with Romanian water companies aimed at bringing the sector in line with EU laws, policies and practices. This is the fifth EBRD loan under the SWIFT framework.