European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) President Thomas Mirow opened a recent workshop by stating that the EBRD is very interested in learning about Israeli technologies, and about the successful Israeli model of operation in the water sector, so that this know-how can be implemented in other Mediterranean countries in which the Bank has recently become active.
This recent workshop, which took place in London on June 14th, brought together senior representatives of the EBRD and Israeli water technology experts. The objective of the meeting was to integrate Israeli companies in water and infrastructure projects which the bank finances in Europe and Central Asia.
The EBRD invests over 9 Billion Euros per year in 10 different sectors, including agriculture, transportation, and telecom, and is interested in investing a great deal in water technologies and water resource management. The effort follows a similar one on the part of the bank in the renewable energy arena, in which the bank invested over 3 Billion Euros over the past 4 years. In the framework of the Bank’s efforts to get more involved in these arenas, the Workshop took place to learn from Israeli water experts. The companies invited included Mekorot, the Kinrot Ventures incubator, Rimon, Netafim, Makhteshim and Emefcy.
Eran Polack, Israel’s Director on the Board of the EBRD, said “This workshop is instrumental in exposing the Israeli water industry to EBRD as a stepping stone to projects in developing countries in Central Asia and Europe. Especially now with the credit crunch in Europe, the EBRD can be a real strategic partner for Israeli companies in their effort to expand their markets.”
Noa Asher, head of the International Projects and Financing Department at the Israeli Foreign Trade Administration, said: “The Foreign Trade Administration has defined a goal to strengthen ties with the different financial organizations around the world in order to increase the number of Israeli companies which are involved in projects and financed by these institutions.”
Oded Distel, head of Israel NewTech, said: “The Israeli water industry offers a variety of solutions for planning, management and advanced technology. These solutions, which are characterized by a flexible and creative approach, have great potential in markets in which the ERBD is active. This workshop created a platform to support cooperation and open intensive dialog with the highest levels of management at the Bank.”
The EBRD was founded in 1991 with the goal of revitalizing countries in Eastern Europe and the former U.S.S.R. The Bank invests about 9 Billion Euros a year in projects in 29 countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia in a wide variety of fields, and is now expanding its activities into Northern Africa. Israel has been a member of the ERBD since its founding in 1991.