Cyprus is interested in receiving investments from the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), while Portugal and Greece are also seeking more business ties with the development bank, the EBRD has stated. "We already work with Greek and Portuguese companies in our projects, but both those countries are now exploring enhanced engagement with their businesses with us," EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti said in a speech to the Council of Europe. Chakrabarti added that Cyprus, already an EBRD member, was interested in becoming a country of operation for a limited period. Cyprus has been a shareholder of the bank since March 1991 but has, until now, been a provider of funds to other nations, rather than a recipient or a country of operation. The decision to invest in Cyprus would have to be approved by the EBRD's shareholders, which include the EU and its individual members, the US, Russia, Japan and a number of other nations. The decision could be taken when those shareholders gather for their annual meeting in Warsaw in May. The EBRD was established in 1991 to help countries from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union make the transition from centrally planned economies to market ones and from single-party governments to democracy. More recently, the bank has expanded its mandate to help nations make a similar transition in the wake of the Arab Spring.