Our vision for the region is for the achievement of safe, secure and sustainable transport systems that embody market principles while balancing economic, environmental and social needs and responding to the needs of both industry and individuals. For the last five years our investment in the transport sector has consistently exceeded €1billion annually. We signed 25 transactions in 2013, for a total EBRD commitment of €1.2 billion, in road, rail, aviation, maritime and intermodal sectors. The financed projects were geographically and sectorally diverse, ranging from a relatively small investment in the construction of the first modern logistics complex in Georgia, to large infrastructure projects supporting regional integration in Serbia, Slovak Republic and Azerbaijan.
The transport sector is a key enabler of economic growth and transition in the region. From a social perspective, transport supports individual mobility so that all individuals can benefit from safe access to essential public services such as health and education, and access to labour markets, which can also have important implications for economic inclusion and gender equality. At the same time, transport consumes resources and can have an impact on climate change, highlighting the importance of supporting the development of low-carbon transport systems in the region and raising environmental standards.
New EBRD Transport Strategy – boosting the role of the private sector and creating sustainable transport systems
Our new strategy for investments in the transport sector places a high priority on sustainability, in addition to our primary focus on transition and a market-based approach to addressing transport needs. The strategy, approved in October 2013, details our vision of achieving secure, reliable and sustainable transport systems which embody market principles; balance economic, environmental and social needs; and are responsive to the requirements of both industry and individuals.
This means promoting investment in roads, railways, aviation and shipping that cause the least environmental damage possible, raising environmental standards and supporting the development of low-carbon transport systems in the region, while also promoting economic and social inclusion. The new strategy has received strong support from civil society organisations and is an important focus of our engagement with other multilateral development banks. As always, policy dialogue and targeted technical cooperation, generously supported by our donors, will remain a vital feature of our activities to develop sustainable transport systems.
We will maintain our emphasis on financing transport projects that promote regional integration, particularly in the Western Balkans, in the countries of the European Neighbourhood and in Central Asia, and will seek opportunities to extend the sustainability approach to the SEMED region. The strategy also specifies a series of strategic performance indicators to provide a quantifiable means of assessing whether the objectives are met. These focus on policy dialogue to support the restructuring and commercialisation of publicly owned clients, increasing private sector and commercially-based funding, reducing carbon emissions and improving road safety.