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EBRD to hold 2008 Business Forum in Kiev, Ukraine

Promising to bring more investment to Ukraine, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will hold its annual shareholders meeting and 2008 Business Forum in Kyiv on May 18 and 19. – local daily reports.

Invited by Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, the meeting is the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s second in Kyiv, the first being a decade ago. About a third of the 3,000 expected guests will be EBRD shareholders, as well as finance, economics, and foreign affairs ministers and several heads of state, said Anton Usov, EBRD press secretary in Kyiv. The business forum will address “infrastructure, corporate and social responsibility, the aspirations of the growing middle classes and how this is affecting demand and economic reform, the impact of rising food prices, and changing technologies,” said Anthony Williams, media relations head at EBRD.

Infrastructure development and investment for Euro-2012 will also be discussed. In recent years, EBRD shifted its focus from central European states such as Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Hungary, which are now European Union members, Usov said. “The most interesting countries for us now are Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and also Azerbaijan and the Balkan countries,” he said.

To date, EBRD has funded 158 projects, investing $4.6 billion in Ukraine’s economy, according to a bank press release. EBRD, owned by 61 countries and two intergovernmental institutions, the European Community and European Investment Bank, was established in 1991 to invest in post-Communist bloc countries from Central Europe to Central Asia. (Kyiv Post, Ukraine)