EBRD President visits three countries in south-eastern Europe

By Anthony Williams

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EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti will visit three countries in south-eastern Europe in early July, holding talks in Croatia just days after its accession to the European Union, and also in Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the EBRD is actively supporting the drive towards further EU integration.

The EBRD President will fly to Podgorica on 1 July, for discussions with Montenegro’s leadership, including President Filip Vujanovic and Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic. He will also meet local entrepreneurs and members of the diplomatic community.

The EBRD is one of the largest investors in Montenegro, with a cumulative business volume of around €384 million in 36 projects. The Bank’s financing has focused on the energy sector, property and tourism, financial institutions, support for small and medium-sized enterprises, and the improvement of infrastructure.

Sir Suma will travel to Sarajevo from 2 to 3 July, for talks with business partners and high-level politicians, including the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Vjekoslav Bevanda, and the Federation Prime Minister, Nermin Niksic. He will also meet with representatives of civil society and the diplomatic community. In Banja Luka he will meet Republika Srpska President, Milorad Dodik, and representatives of the Republika Srpska government.

The EBRD has so far invested approximately €1.5 billion in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Bank’s future strategy will focus on the restructuring and expansion of the private sector, forging closer links with wider regional markets and promoting a more efficient and sustainable use of resources.

In Croatia, from 4 to 5 July, the EBRD President will hold discussions with the country’s President, Ivo Josipovic, and the Prime Minister, Zoran Milanovic, as well as with other senior members of the government. Sir Suma will take part in a roundtable discussion on supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and helping to foster a return to growth.

He will meet members of the business community and civil society in Zagreb, and will also travel to Rijeka for discussions with local officials and to sign an agreement on wastewater management in the city.

The President’s visit to Croatia comes as the country, and the entire region, will receive new impetus from Croatia’s accession to the EU.

The EBRD, which has invested more than €2.5 billion in Croatia, is committed to remaining fully engaged in the country after its EU accession, working to further enhance its competitiveness and improving conditions for investment.

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