Dear Members & Readers, 

 

Paul Polman of Unilever calls them the greatest catalogue of business opportunities ever. Mads Nipper of Grundfos knows them all 17 by heart. And Denmark’s past minister for finance, Kristian Jensen, never goes anywhere without wearing a pin showing them in full colour neatly on his jacket lapel … 

What am I talking about?The UN Sustainable Development Goals, of course!

 

You can get involved in the discussion as well, when on 28 October, DKUK and the other Nordic Chambers holds this year’s business forum at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London City. Some day in May this year, Gunnar and Deanne from DKUK, along with Emma from the Finnish-British Chamber of Commerce, knocked the door of the Nordic/Baltic constituency offices at the EBRD, asking if our bank would host this renowned event. And soon our joint brain storm got so fruitful that we could only say “YES”!

 

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (www.EBRD.com) was founded in 1991 to create a new post-Cold War era in central and eastern Europe. We are now doing more than ever before –  across three continents – to further progress towards ‘market-oriented economies and the promotion of private and entrepreneurial initiative’. Most EBRD countries are middle-income economies in political, economic and social transition. EBRD supports this transition by a combination of business investment, priced at market rates, and policy advice for countries to build the institutions needed for a market economy to function well.

Sustainability is a core focus, with investments ranging from renewable energy in Egypt to energy efficiency in Ukraine’s corporate sector and recycling PVC for industrial use in Turkey. In total, such green investments are set to reach 40 per cent of the Bank’s annual business volume next year – making the EBRD the leader on sustainability finance compared to the World Bank and other similar international financial institutions. 

 

My role in all of that? I am a member of the Board of Directors, appointed by Denmark, where I previously served as Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs. As such I am keen to ensure that you and others in the business community are aware of how you can use the EBRD. In short, we don’t offer cheap finance, but the EBRD has a very deep knowledge of what goes on and who-is-who in our countries of operation. Having the EBRD as a partner in your investments therefore helps to reduce risk. You are always welcome to approach me, although when business gets concrete, I’ll pass the baton to Bank staff and management. 

The EBRD Board is resident in London, i.e. a full time occupation, but like professional board members in the private sector, I pursue a few outside activities under the brand Lundsgaard Economics & Strategy (www.jenslundsgaard.com) and including a fortnightly column in Børsen. Because after all, as a board member you are most valuable if you can bring strategic perspectives –of which DKUK is a great source.

 

See you soon!

Jens


This editorial is a part of the DKUK Newsletter of September 2019

thumbnail lille European Bank for Recounstruction and Development (EBRD) is one of the key Supporting Partners of this year's Nordic Chambers Business Forum 2019. 

 


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