European development bank agrees 5-year strategy for Serbia

7 Mar 18

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has agreed a five-year strategy to guide its investment and policy work in Serbia.

Its three priorities are to foster competitiveness by boosting private companies and reforming state-owned enterprises and public utilities, improve the transport network and regional economic connectivity and to invest in energy efficiency and renewables.

The bank has to date invested €4.7bn across some 200 projects in Serbia, and during 2017 provided more than €380m to 20 projects, including  loans for the construction of two large wind farms, the upgrade of a railway maintenance depot, modernisation of air traffic control and funds for a local lender to support smaller businesses.

Dan Berg, the bank’s director for Serbia, said: “Having stabilised the macroeconomic environment, we project the Serbian economy will grow by 2.9% in 2018.  With this positive base, it is the right moment to focus even more strongly on reforms.

“Our strategy will support the government’s priorities with investment and policy engagement.”

This builds on an initiative launched by the bank and Serbia in 2014 to improve the investment climate, encourage the private sector and promote good governance.

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