€110 million boost to businesses’ competitiveness
The EBRD is scaling up its support for the growth of the private sector in the Western Balkans with a new €110 million facility aimed at boosting the competitiveness of local enterprises through improved operations and higher quality products.
Under the new Western Balkans Private Sector Support Facility (WBPSSF), the EBRD will provide credit lines to local banks for on-lending to the private sector. The new framework includes a Sustainable Energy Financing Facility and a Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Competitiveness Support Facility.
The funding will be used to finance investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy by enterprises and households and to support SMEs’ investments necessary to comply with EU health and safety, environment, and product safety and quality standards.
The project will increase the availability of financing to the real economies in the Western Balkans, enabling local business to improve the quality of their operations and their energy efficiency, thus strengthening their competitiveness and ability to gain access to and successfully compete in the EU single market. The project will also help households become more energy efficient, which is particularly important as the prices for natural resources are rising, and will lead to more comfortable housing standards.
The facility is supported by grant funds totalling €22.5 million provided by the EU as part of the 2009 Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance Crisis Response Package, which includes a comprehensive technical assistance programme to assist sub-borrowers to identify and structure these much needed investments.
“The new Western Balkans Private Sector Support Facility underscores the EBRD’s commitment to supporting environmentally sustainable economic growth in the Western Balkans. The EBRD funds will contribute to setting higher business and environmental standards in the region, supporting these countries’ EU integration objectives,” said Henry Russell, EBRD Director for Small Business Finance and Energy Efficiency.