The European Investment Bank (EIB) has announced that its main priorities in the Western Balkans are investments in competitiveness, innovation and fighting climate change.
EIB will continue to support projects that will boost the competitiveness of Western Balkan economies, which will improve transport connectivity, but also improve access to finance for entrepreneurs, said EIB President, Werner Hoyer at the Western Balkans Summit in Poznan, Poland, according to a press release from the EIB.
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“The EIB Group has accompanied Poland’s success story by investing 64.2 billion euro to the benefit of its citizens since 1990. EU Bank stands ready to replicate such success in the Western Balkans,” said Hoyer. “Our activities are designed to support the implementation of the EU’s enlargement policy and we are ready to do more in the region with a wide range of different financial and product advisories.”
At the summit margins, the EIB signed a new agreement in support of the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF), accepting a 500,000 euro contribution from Poland to a joint fund co-managed by the EIB and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Investment in climate action will mean that the EIB, as Europe’s Climate Bank, will sustain the region’s energy transition to modernize infrastructure, reduce emissions, and diversify the energy mix to increase the security of supply, Hoyer noted.
In a statement, EIB also said that signed with the Belgrade authorities an agreement stipulating assistance in the amount of 1.1 million euro to be spent on improving water supply and sewage infrastructure in the Serbian capital.
The EIB has invested 8 billion euro in the Western Balkans since 2008, mobilizing at least 16 billion euro in investments. Only in 2018, the EIB support reached about 1,000 SMEs, sustaining over 59,000 jobs. In 2018 alone, the EIB committed 1.1 billion euro to the region.
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