Press "Enter" to skip to content

EBRD invested $1.5 billion each in 2020, 2021 in Western Balkan countries

Amnon Free Press/Central Press Syndicate, USA. Read, Enjoy and Share the Latest US News Updates.

September 15, 2021

By Daria Sito-Sucic

SARAJEVO (Reuters) – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) invested 1.3 billion euros ($1.5 billion) in the Western Balkans in 2020 and will match that amount this year, Pierre Heilbronn, an EBRD vice president, said on Wednesday.

Heilbronn told Reuters 2020 was an unusual year because of the COVID-19 pandemic which prompted the bank to invest in its earlier agreed projects as well as to support policy changes in the six Western Balkan countries that it helps.

Other News:   URA boasts of success as it celebrates 30 years – 93.3 KFM

Over nearly three decades, the bank has supported Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia – which are all hoping to join the European Union – to adjust their economies to meet EU standards.

Though investment in infrastructure remains a priority, the bank has become increasingly involved in helping the region, which is dependent on coal-produced energy, to transition towards green energy, Heilbronn said.

But he warned public money would not be enough and that private investors should also be mobilised.

Other News:   Canada’s Trudeau , after gravel throwing, condemns rhetoric of right-wing leader

“One of objectives of my visit here is very much trying to push this (green) agenda,” Heilbronn, in Sarajevo on a farewell visit, said in an interview.

He said small-and-medium-sized companies (SMS) were a key engine of regional growth but privatisation of state-owned enterprises has lagged, and that Bosnia was “probably the most extreme case”.

“Connectivity, green and competitiveness are the three overarching priorities for us,” Heilbronn said. “Making progress in how state-owned enterprises are run would open up interest of foreign investors” who have been largely absent from the region.

Other News:   Biden says in Colorado that extreme weather will cost U.S. over $100 billion this year

As for Chinese investment in the region, mainly in infrastructure and energy, Heilbronn said the EBRD was concerned when investment did not meet sustainability criteria, and did not create jobs locally.

($1 = 0.8462 euros)

(Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

To continue reading this news article, follow the link to the news website.

For any inquiries, contact Amnon Free Press (Amnon Jobi Jakony) by writing to editor [at] Discover a world of hyper-local news below.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *