IIB and the Slovak Republic set up Technical Assistance Fund as a new development instrument of the Bank

IIB and the Slovak Republic set up Technical Assistance Fund as a new development instrument of the Bank

With a EUR 1 million contribution from the Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic, the International Investment Bank (IIB) is establishing the SR-IIB Technical Assistance Fund (TAF), the first country-funded initiative managed by the Bank and its new instrument for supporting development in its member states. The agreement establishing the fund, signed by the Slovak Minister of Finance, Peter Kazimir, and the Chairman of the IIB Board, Nikolay Kosov, has entered into force, and the fund will become operational in the near future.

The purpose of the TAF will be to provide grants for advisory services provided by Slovak consultants and to a lesser extent consultants from other IIB members in IIB’s developing countries eligible for Official Development Assistance (ODA) – currently Vietnam, Mongolia and Cuba – both in respect of IIB’s investments and separately, such as in case of support for various public initiatives. With the aim of increasing the pool of available resources, the IIB has decided to co-finance assignments under the TAF by up to 25% of the Ministry’s initial contribution, and to actively manage temporarily unallocated resources in order to grow this amount further.

Nikolay Kosov noted: “The TAF is a welcomed new instrument that will help us deliver development solutions where they are needed the most. It will have a great positive impact on our operations in the long-term, increasing our ability to address the needs of the beneficiary countries while helping Slovak companies expand. I encourage other countries to follow Slovakia’s example, especially those who want to support involvement of their consultants in the world of development capital.”

Commenting from the side of the Ministry, Peter Kazimir said: “Since 2012, we have been at the forefront of supporting IIB’s proactive transformation into a modern development institution, and, wishing to contribute to the breadth and effectiveness of its development activities, we have now signed an agreement establishing a technical assistance fund, creating the first ever donor-funded scheme of the Bank. At the same time, we consider this as an excellent opportunity for Slovak companies to access very interesting markets and to provide their top-notch expertise.”

Such technical assistance funds are a common practice among leading IFIs, including some of IIB’s co-financing partners, such as the IFC and the EBRD. By setting up the SR-IIB TAF, the IIB not only enhances its capacity to support development in the beneficiary countries but also, in line with its mission, contributes to cooperation between entities from IIB member states, bringing Slovak consulting companies to Vietnam, Mongolia and Cuba. As the IIB is the only MDB with Cuba as a member, the TAF’s potential in relation to the island is particularly high. Such work with Slovak consultants also supports their capacity to work with other multilateral development institutions.

Consultants for assignments under the SR-IIB TAF will be publicly procured by the Bank based on its new procurement guidelines for advisory services, elaborated and adopted by the IIB based on best practices by other international financial institutions. The first assignments are expected in the third quarter of 2016. In April, the IIB has already participated in a series of meetings with Slovak companies, creating a pool of potential contractors for the TAF.

All information about the SR-IIB TAF will become available on IIB’s website (www.iib.int) in the upcoming weeks – in the meantime, companies interested in entering the list of potential contractors are encouraged to contact the IIB at finintegration@iibbank.com.