Marking 20 years of Serbia’s membership in the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), as well as record investments in 2020, EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso will pay her first official visit to Serbia on March 18-19 in a virtual format for meetings with the government and the private sector, the EBRD office in Serbia announced on March 17.
The press release adds that, as traveling and physical meetings continue to be disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, the EBRD President will leverage digital platforms, which have profoundly reshaped ways of working and international relations over the past year.
During her visit the EBRD President will meet in a joint session the Prime Minister of Serbia Ana Brnabić and Minister of Finance and EBRD Governor, Siniša Mali. She will also meet Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Mining and Energy, Zorana Mihajlović. Focusing on the economy, President Renaud-Basso will also speak with the Governor of the National Bank of Serbia Jorgovanka Tabaković. She will also meet representatives of the private sector and key banks in Serbia. She will also talk to the EU delegation and international financial institutions in Serbia as well as with civil society organizations, the Bank announces.
– The impact of the EBRD’s investments in Serbia over the past 20 years is visible everywhere, from our support for the private sector and small businesses, strengthening the banking sector, investment in road and railway infrastructure, environment and – lately and increasingly – in renewable energy and energy efficiency – President Renaud-Basso said.
She said that she looked forward to meeting the Serbian government and its business partners to discuss how they could continue to work together on further modernizing, digitalizing and greening the Serbian economy to yield an inclusive economic growth and enhance competitiveness.
Addressing urgent needs of the economy and laying the foundations for building back better, the EBRD invested a total of EUR 679 million in Serbia in 2020.
The Bank provided EUR 450 million in support to the private sector and small businesses through credit lines, in partnership with commercial banks, reaching hundreds of small businesses. In addition to credit lines, beneficiaries received incentive grants and technical assistance funded by the European Union.
Strengthening infrastructure links in the country and the region, the Bank provided a EUR 85 million loan for the construction of the Niš-Pločnik section of the “Peace Highway”. The road will connect Niš with Priština, continue to Tirana and end in Durrës on the Adriatic Sea, improving connectivity and facilitating trade in the region, the Bank adds in the press release.
On the occasion of marking the 20th anniversary of Serbia’s membership in the EBRD, eKapija will be publishing a series of articles about the bank’s new plans and projects in infrastructure, energy and economy in the upcoming period.
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