The Belt and Road initiative (BRI) has been live globally and in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) for about five years now. Therefore, it is the right time to take a closer look at what has already been achieved in the past years and what is possible and conceivable in the coming years. With regards to CEE a differentiated picture is to be drawn. More progress in the sense of the BRI objective has certainly been achieved in the China-Mongolia-Russia corridor than on the Balkan route or on the western section of the BRI. Nevertheless, it should be stressed that 70% of BRI investments in Central Europe (CE) and South Eastern Europe (SEE) were made in SEE, which is exactly the opposite of the regional GDP weights of the regions (CE: 70%, SEE: 30%). This is positive news in light of the massive investment needs in exactly this region.
RBI’s session will focus among others on the following questions:
• BRI in perspective – scope, size, projects & results so far
• How can a balanced integration (promotion of imports, exports, direct investments, financing) be achieved?
• How to co-ordinate the initiatives of all relevant players in the region?
• What is the impact of the BRI on the private sector and banks operating in the region?
Senior Director, Head of Economics, Fixed Income and FX Research, Raiffeisen Bank International AG
Executive Director for International Operations, Euro-Asfalt
Member of the Board, Markets & Investment Banking, Raiffeisen Bank International AG
Head of Group Funds & Securities Services, Raiffeisen Bank International AG
Managing Director, Economics, Policy & Governance, EBRD
Mattia Romani is EBRD Managing Director for Economics, Policy and Governance. Before joining the EBRD in 2014, he was Deputy Director General and Chief Economist of the Global Green Growth Institute; senior expert with McKinsey and Company; and Lord Nicholas Stern’s deputy on the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Advisory Group on Climate Finance. Between 2007-2009, he worked as the lead economist on the Stern Review team in the UK Government. Prior to this he had leading roles at Shell International and the World Bank.
Mattia holds a Doctorate (D.Phil.) in Economics from the University of Oxford and a M.Sc. in Development Studies from the London School of Economics, and was a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics.
Managing Director, Central & South Eastern Europe, EBRD
Charlotte Ruhe, EBRD’s Managing Director, Central and South Eastern Europe, is responsible for 18 countries from Poland and the Baltic States to Greece and Cyprus. In a 27-year career at the EBRD, she was previously Director, SME Finance and Development and served as Director for Croatia in Zagreb (2005-2010). Prior to that she led the EU-EBRD SME Finance Facility as a Senior Banker in the Financial Institutions team. Charlotte joined the EBRD as Adviser to the Director for the USA in 1992, and in 1995 moved to the Financial Institutions team. She began her career at the US Department of the Treasury, and has an MA in International Economics (Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies) and a BA in Journalism and Political Science (Indiana University).