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Thursday, 2003, April 3
President of the European Bank for Reconstruction Development (EBRD), Jean Lemierre, invites His Highness the Aga Khan to delive

His Highness the Aga Khan, the Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims and renowned philanthropist, will deliver the traditional Jacques de Larosière Lecture to conclude the 2003 Business Forum at the EBRD's Annual Meeting, to be held in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent 4-5 May.Through the Aga Khan Development Network, as well as philanthropy, the Aga Khan invests extensively in helping people to help themselves. In his lecture, the Aga Khan will focus on Central Asia, where he has undertaken development and investment programmes which are highly regarded for their inclusive and integrated approaches. He has also recently founded the University of Central Asia through an international treaty with Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic. He will talk about ways to break down barriers and increase prosperity in poor regions of the world, through strategies that focus on strengthening all elements of civil society.The Aga Khan's address will be a highlight of the Business Forum, an opportunity for debate and discussion about the investment climate of the Bank's region which runs parallel to the annual gathering of the EBRD's governors. The Forum will begin with a discussion of the investment climate and how countries can become more attractive through appropriate regulation, respect of the rule of law, human rights, transparency and free markets. The overall theme of the Forum in this setting of landlocked Central Asia is open markets and open societies as keys to unlocking investment potential. Seminar speakers will include Transparency International Chairman Peter Eigen, Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth, Raiffeisen Bank Chairman Herbert Stepic, EU Commissioner Pedro Solbes Mira and KazKommertzBank Vice President Nina Zhusopova. A full list is available from today on the EBRD's website: www.ebrd.com/am.The Aga Khan's lecture will cap a series of six seminars which address a range of issues critical to the development of the region: 'Investment climate: Political will as the accelerator of investment climate chance,' 'Trading places, placing trade: Regional cooperation and globalisation,' 'Responsible business: a bottom line that helps people prosper,' 'Water: source of life and living economies,' 'Legal Forum: nurturing smaller businesses' and 'Women in Business and Government.'Press contact: Julia Zilberman, Tel: +44 20 7338 6640; E-mail: zilbermj@ebrd.com

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