Mattia Romani: Mongolia’s been excellent partner for EBRD www.zgm.mn
The Official Gazette sat down with Mr. Mattia Romani, Managing Director of Economy, Policy, and Governance at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). He talked about EBRD’s projects in Mongolia and possibilities to change the policy in a particular sector.
-The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is one of the major investors of Mongolia. What further projects EBRD is planning to implement in the country?
-I am happy to say that we have projects across all sectors in Mongolia. We started working with SME’s but now expanded to infrastructure, especially renewable energy sector. And of course, we invest quite a lot in financial institutions as well. Across the board, we have now quite a balanced project activities in the country.
-Could you mention a few successful projects in specific?
-I would like to focus on something that we have done now in Mongolia for a while, which is not strictly focused on only investments. We invested over EUR 1.6 billion in the economy of Mongolia. What we also do a lot is to combine our investments with policy engagement, so that we can cooperate with a number of sectors, government agencies, and institutions. It’s interesting that we can reach a client and make a real difference with that client. For example, Gobi JSC, one of our clients who are demonstrating other investors to invest in the cashmere sector. What we are doing now with policy engagements is important. If we take the learnings from the projects, we talk to the government about changing regulations and laws, so that the changes and experience of that project can become law across the sector. In other words, the impact of our projects is really systemic.
-EBRD has been a long term partner of Mongolia since its transition to democracy. Is Mongolia a good partner, including both the SME’s and the government?
-Well, Mongolia has been an excellent partner for EBRD. There are three reasons to assume so. Firstly, SME’s have the growth aspiration. There are companies that want to grow and improve their standards. Secondly, Mongolia has the freedom of democracy, where people can say what they want freely. And the third reason is that state entities always try to solve the problems and cooperate with us, even though there are some obvious difficulties.