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Energy Charter Secretariat publishes Energy Investment Risk Assessment 2019

On 30 September 2019, the Energy Charter Secretariat launched the Energy Investment Risk Assessment 2019 (#EIRA2019), the second edition of its flagship publication. The launch event took place in Brussels and was opened by European Commission Former Director General for Energy Dominique Ristori and Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Energy Ilir Bejtja, representing the Albanian Chairmanship of the Energy Charter Conference 2019.

EIRA examines and addresses risks related to unpredictable policy and regulatory change, discrimination between foreign and domestic investors and breach of State obligations. The publication assists governments in recognising policy and regulatory gaps and in turn render their energy sector more conducive to foreign investment. Additionally, it seeks to provide the business community, investors and the financial institutions insight into particular aspects of the policy and regulatory environment in the assessed countries.

The number of participating countries has increased to 34 in the 2019 edition of the report. The geographical reach of EIRA now spans countries in Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Europe. This is primarily because there is a need for instruments, such as EIRA, that help national governments meet different development objectives and at the same time reconcile diverging courses of action. EIRA 2019 expands and builds on the findings of its predecessor and gives deeper insights into the participating countries. Apart from highlighting the key strengths and areas for improvement in each country, the profiles of the recurrent participants include a year-on-year comparison table. Through this, the countries can benchmark their performance and take stock of any changes to their risk level.

This year a website dedicated to EIRA has also been launched. It is intended to offer extensive and updated data on the evolving regulatory regimes of the participating countries. It projects the year-on-year trajectory of the country on different EIRA parameters, provides detailed information for each question on the EIRA questionnaire and includes an online library of over 1,500 primary legal documents.

Energy Charter Secretary General Dr Urban Rusnák presented the publication and reiterated that EIRA – as a concept – is based on the core values of the Energy Charter Process: building confidence, promoting open markets, and strengthening the rule of law.

EIRA 2019 was launched with the participation of high-level representatives of governments, international organisations, financial institutions and industry.

Mr Dominique Ristori emphasised that “EIRA is in full development. We need it in the context of increasing international cooperation, regulatory frameworks and attracting investments. Without such cooperation, it is impossible to find solutions to key challenges we have in the energy sector.”

Mr Ilir Bejtja highlighted that “We declared #EIRA2019 as a one of the priorities of the Albanian Chairmanship of the Energy Charter Conference in 2019”. He continued: “Albania considers EIRA as a useful instrument which can pave a way for needed reforms in the energy sector and contribute into the economic progress.” 

Mr Momodou B. Sarr, Deputy Minister (Advisor) of the Ministry of Petroleum & Energy of The Gambia underlined that “The Gambia decided to participate in EIRA, to help address those types of investment challenges that can be mitigated through the governmental process, to review the laws and frameworks to make the country more attractive for investments”.

Ms Constance Kann, Director of Institutional Relations and Public Affairs at the European Investment Bank (EIB) stated that “Key work is done by EIRA team to look at predictability of regulations and policies. EIRA provides an opportunity to learn from each other”.

Mr Laurent Catenos, Vice President Coordination and Performance at EDF added an industry perspective: “The EIRA report is a valuable international benchmark which covers relevant risks and policy issues in the energy sector of various countries. It’s a very useful tool for companies, especially when they are preparing investment decisions.”

The Energy Charter Secretariat is thankful to all who contributed to the launch of #EIRA2019 and to the more than 250 contributors who shared their expertise during the development of the publication. The agenda of the event is available here.

The publication can be downloaded here.

Speech of Urban Rusnák, Secretary General, Energy Charter Secretariat

Presentation by Urban Rusnák, Secretary General, Energy Charter Secretariat