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Improving the business climate through investment councils – EBRD’s Law in Transition 2017

Good governance is an essential component of successful, sustainable development. The United Nations recognises this in its Sustainable Development Goals, which state that “access to justice and accountable institutions” are pre-requisites of economic prosperity. The EBRD, meanwhile, identifies being well-governed as one of the six desirable qualities of a well-functioning market economy.

Through its efforts to create a better, more predictable legal environment, the EBRD therefore makes an important contribution to sustainable development in the regions where it operates. These efforts are remarkable for their innovation, ambition and achievements on the ground, as well as for the wide range of partners they call upon, from grass-roots civil society activists to prime ministers. The story of these endeavours is told in ‘Law in transition 2017’.

Among others, the journal recounts how the EBRD’s Legal Transition Programme contributed to legal and regulatory reforms aimed at reducing the burden of non-performing loans on the economies of emerging Europe. It relays the extensive work the EBRD does to raise standards of corporate governance in the region and bring them in line with international best practice; and its support for public-private dialogue on improving governance and fighting corruption. Investment councils foster dialogue between the public and private sectors and expose economic policy-making to greater public scrutiny.

In the journal, it is noted that in recent years, Investment Councils have supported the creation of business enabling environments, for example by promoting better diagnosis of investment climate problems and improved policy design and by strengthening the position of reformers within governments. For real partnership to develop, governments have to be ready to listen to the private sector, think long term and make good policy choices. Businesses are – and should be treated as – active partners in the fight against corruption and in other efforts to improve the investment climate. Sustained engagement between officials and businesses also helps to build trust, understanding and mutual cooperation.

Download ‘Law in transition 2017

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