EBRD Board to visit FYR Macedonia on 5-8 February

By Vanora Bennett

A delegation of the EBRD Board of Directors will arrive in Skopje for a four-day visit to FYR Macedonia, which will offer the Bank’s representatives the opportunity to meet with the authorities at state level.

  • EBRD Directors on four-day visit will meet PM, ministers, Mayor of Skopje
  • Visit comes as EBRD prepares new Macedonian Country Strategy for 2019-2023
  • EBRD regional Western Balkans investment topped €1 billion in 2018

A delegation of the EBRD Board of Directors will arrive in Skopje for a four-day visit to FYR Macedonia, which will offer the Bank’s representatives the opportunity to meet with the authorities at state level. The Directors will also get together with international officials, civil society representatives, investors and entrepreneurs. The visit follows an earlier mission by the delegation in neighbouring Kosovo.

This visit comes as the EBRD prepares its new country strategy for FYR Macedonia, running from 2019 to 2023. The aim is to agree the Macedonian government’s priorities and identify key areas of EBRD engagement, so as to intensify business and policy dialogue.

The delegation will be hosted by Frans Weekers, Director for the Netherlands, China, Mongolia, FYR Macedonia and Armenia. Members will be Wioletta Barwicka-Lofthouse, Director for Poland, Bulgaria and Albania, Harold Freeman, Director for the UK, Jörgen Frotzler, Director for Sweden, Iceland and Estonia, Shinichi Nakabayashi, Director for Japan, Leander Treppel, Director for Austria, Israel, Cyprus, Malta, Kazakhstan,Bosnia and Herzegovina, Patrick Walsh, Director for Ireland, Denmark, Lithuania and Kosovo, Milan Martin Cvikl, Alternate Director for Belgium, Slovenia, and Luxembourg, Martina Kobilicová, Alternate Director for Hungary, the Slovak Republic, the Czech Republic, Croatia and Georgia, and Ilkka Räisänen, Alternate Director for Norway, Finland, Latvia and Lebanon.

The EBRD Directors will meet Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, as well as Finance Minister and EBRD Governor Dragan Tevdovski, representatives from the cabinet of the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs and EBRD Alternate Governor Koco Angjushev, and the Governor of the National Bank, Anita Angelovska Bezhoska, Mayor of Skopje, Petre Shilegov. They will also meet representatives of international financial institutions, the European Union, commercial banks and state-owned energy (ELEM and MEPSO) and municipal companies (Vodovot and JSP), along with civil society organisations and the diplomatic community.

To date, the EBRD has invested more than €1.8 billion in 113 projects in FYR Macedonia, focusing on supporting the country's integration into regional and global markets through investments and policy engagement, especially in intensified cooperation with key partners such as the EU and the European Investment Bank.

In 2018, the EBRD underscored its broader commitment to the Western Balkans region with new investments of over €1.1 billion in 67 projects. This follows a total of 57 projects for around €700 million the previous year. The Bank also intensified its policy engagement in the region further and hosted the third Western Balkans Investment Summit, bringing together all six prime minister from the region at the Bank’s Headquarters in London. The EBRD’s 2019 Annual Meeting will take place in Sarajevo on 8 and 9 May 2019.