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A kick-off conference of the EU Twinning project "Strengthening the National Bank of Belarus" takes place in Minsk

A kick-off conference of the EU Twinning Project "Strengthening the National Bank of Belarus" took place in Minsk on 27 February 2018. Funded by the European Union, the project will be implemented by a consortium of central banks – the German Bundesbank, the Polish Narodowy Bank Polski, and Lietuvos Bankas, the central bank of Lithuania.

The kick-off conference presented the objectives and activities of the project and introduced the German, Polish, Lithuanian and Belarusian members of the project team responsible for its implementation.

Speaking at the conference, the Belarusian project leader, Deputy Chairman of the Board of the National Bank Sergei Kalechits said: "We are looking forward to a successful project and are hopeful that the other government authorities in Belarus will follow suit, and initiate more twinning projects with their European counterparts."

Frederick Koene, the Head of the Operations Section of the EU Delegation to Belarus remarked: "EU believes that project results would increase NBB professional and institutional capacity, thus bringing more predictable and consistent monetary policy, lower inflation, stable Belarusian ruble, stronger banking supervision, more reliable payment system and better general trust in the system for the benefit of Belarusian people and economic actors."

Martin Dinkelborg, Director of the Centre for International Cenral Bank Dialogue at the German Bundesbank and the German project leader remarked: "The Deutsche Bundesbank and Narodowy Bank Polski are traditionally actively engaged in EU Twinning Projects to support institution building in the EU neigbouring states. We aim at strengthening central banks' capacities to pursue effectively their core responsibilities and look forward to the consortium based cooperation with the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus".

"In case of Narodowy Bank Polski our engagement in the Twinning Project is a natural continuation of the long-standing and mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation between our central banks. Our so far good and efficient cooperation fares well for the project success. Moreover, we can assure our Belarusian partners that the results achieved during the Twinning Project implementation would be further developed within our bilateral cooperation," said Agata Logowska, Director of the International Department of the Polish central bank and the Polish co-project leader.

"This EU Twinning Project extends the long-term bilateral cooperation between Lietuvos bankas and the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus. This will be the first time that Lietuvos bankas contributes to the implementation of the Twinning project. We expect to successfully complete this cross-border mission that holds great importance for both Europe and Belarus. Together with our consortium colleagues, we will share the best practices of the EU central banks,", concluded Gitana Kaminskiene, project manager at the International Relations Department of Lietuvos Bankas, the Lithuanian co-project leader.

Twinning is a new format of peer-to-peer partnership between the public administrations of Belarus and the EU member states. It is a vehicle for sharing best practices between the relevant bodies of the EU member states and their Belarusian counterparts. The National Bank is the first public agency in Belarus to become a party to an EU twinning project.

The project envisages a range of activities that seek to strengthen the payment system, improve financial stability, and enhance banking supervision and financial risk management. The project will also help improve financial consumer protection and implement an enhanced communication policy at the National Bank.

The project has a budget of 1.15 million Euros, and will be carried out in 2018 – 2019.