Founded ten years ago, OeEB has contributed to economic development worldwide with nearly 300 projects. The recently published Development Report shows how OeEB's projects help create better living conditions for people in developing countries and emerging markets.
Focus on renewable energy and SMEs
More than 40% of OeEB's total portfolio, which amounted to EUR 1.08 billion at year-end 2017, was dedicated to renewable energy and resource efficiency projects. This makes OeEB Austria's largest provider of climate financing in developing countries. In 2017 alone, more than 3,000 GWh of electricity were produced from renewable sources in OeEB's projects.
SME- and microfinance-projects accounted for approximately one third of OeEB's portfolio. Over 76,000 microborrowers and SMEs gained access to finance through OeEB's projects. More than 280,000 people are currently employed by OeEB's clients – many more jobs are created in the supply chain of these companies as well as at the level of micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises financed indirectly via OeEB's credit lines to local banks.
Improving environmental & social standards
All projects financed by OeEB must be economically sustainable, have positive impacts on development and adhere to high environmental and social standards. "We not only provide finance but also support our clients with know-how to help them set up management systems or establish international standards," explain OeEB's executive board members Sabine Gaber and Michael Wancata.
In Bangladesh, OeEB goes one step further: Together with international partners, OeEB finances a training programme for local financial institutions in which employees are trained in addressing environmental and social aspects in their credit approval processes. "By building knowledge and capacities, financial institutions can better identify potential environmental and social risks but also new business opportunities, such as in the field of Green Finance," explain Gaber and Wancata.
"With this initiative we aim to establish high standards across the whole financial sector – beyond banks receiving OeEB-loans." The trainings are also open to bank clients from sensitive sectors such as the textile industry in order to further increase awareness and to help sustainably improve working conditions.
Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank AG (OeEB) has been operating as the Development Bank of Austria since March 2008. It specialises in the provision of long-term finance for the implementation of private sector projects in developing countries which create sustainable development. Additionally, OeEB provides technical assistance, which can be used to enhance the developmental impact of projects.