London: India was today formally announced as the 69th shareholder of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), paving the way for more joint investment with Indian companies across the bank’s regions of operation. The Indian government had applied for EBRD membership in December 2017. The EBRD board of governors, which represents all the existing shareholders, voted unanimously in favour of the country’s application in March 2018, with the entire membership process completed this week. We are very proud and happy to welcome India to our Bank. This day opens a new chapter in our relations, allowing us to build further on already very close ties, said EBRD’s Indian-origin president Suma Chakrabarti. India takes a shareholding in the EBRD but it will not be a recipient of EBRD financing. In the lead up to the membership, the EBRD held its inaugural business forum in Mumbai last month. The conference, co-hosted with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and with the support of the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of India, was held under the banner of Mobilising private sector finance in the EBRD region and how Indian companies can benefit. The EBRD has already cooperated with Indian enterprises on joint projects worth almost 1 billion euros, including investments with Tata, SREI, Jindal and Mahindra and Mahindra. The EBRD is also working closely with leading Indian organisations, such as FICCI, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), and the International Solar Alliance (ISA). London-headquartered EBRD is a multilateral development bank set up in 1991 after the fall of the Berlin Wall to promote private and entrepreneurial initiative in emerging Europe. It invests in 38 emerging economies across three continents, according to a set of criteria that aim to make its countries more competitive, better governed, greener, more inclusive, more resilient and more integrated. India’s membership opens up further joint investment prospects in markets such as Central Asia, Egypt and Jordan.