The Black Sea Trade and Development (BSTDB) is able to redirect additional funds to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) amid COVID-19, BSTDB President Dmitry Pankin told Trend.
"In these difficult times the BSTDB is sympathetic to the efforts our member states take to contain the spread of the coronavirus and reduce the negative impact it has on human lives, societies and economic activity," he said.
Pankin pointed out that the Bank is committed to make best efforts to continue supporting its clients and member countries.
"Under the current critical conditions, we are focusing on supporting the most vulnerable economic segment – small and medium sized businesses (SMEs). Given the reduced demand for financing of large infrastructure projects, we are able to redirect additional funds to help SMEs. Besides, we will provide special technical assistance to clients in developing feasibility studies, environmental impact assessment and in project preparation. Apart from SMEs, the Bank is ready to assist municipalities, utilities, manufacturing and pharmaceutical companies being in the front line of the fight against Covid-19," said the BSTDB president.
He went on to add that currently, consensus view among economists is that once pandemic is over, growth rates will rebound fast, naturally benefitting from the low base factor.
"However, it will take some time for countries to reach pre-pandemic levels of economic output. The challenge right now is not what will be during post-pandemic period. Rather, how long and at what cost the pandemic will last. You have probably heard all these "V" shaped, "U" shaped, or even "L" shaped recovery paths. Be it "V" or "U" shaped, the expectation is that once recovery kicks in, it will be strong. However, it seems that proponents of "U" shape gain hold. But then the question is how long will bottom line of the "U" be," Pankin explained.
Against the background of the remaining and even growing uncertainty, it does not seem useful to forecast any specific numbers for the decline, he said, recalling that recently the IMF stated that their April forecast is likely to be revised further down in June.
The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB), an international financial institution with headquarters in Thessaloniki, Greece, was established by Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine.
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