EBRD investment in Western Balkans tops €1 billion in 2018

By Vanora Bennett

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EBRD to host third Western Balkans Investment Summit

  • EBRD invested €1.1 billion in 67 projects in the Western Balkans in 2018
  • 2019 EBRD Annual Meeting to be held in Sarajevo in May

The EBRD underscored its commitment to the Western Balkans region in 2018 with new investments of over €1.1 billion in 67 projects. This follows a total of 57 projects for just under €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.

In a key investment that supported infrastructure links in south-eastern Europe, the EBRD brought in significant amounts of private finance to fund a major modernisation of the Nikola Tesla airport in Belgrade, Serbia’s main air transportation hub that serves the country and the wider region.

The Bank overcame significant economic challenges in a number of countries to maintain an excellent level of investment and backing for reforms across all its regions in 2018. It financed 395 projects worth a total of €9.5 billion, very close to a 2017 record of €9.7 billion.

For 2019, the EBRD has set ambitious goals in support of the global development agenda.

At its Annual Meeting in Jordan in May 2018, EBRD shareholders asked the Bank to do even more with existing capital to increase investments in existing countries to help achieve Sustainable Development Goals the international community has pledged to deliver by 2030.

The EBRD responded with a plan that sees the Bank making an even greater impact in its regions. EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti told Bank staff this week the EBRD would raise both the quality and the quantity of its investments over the next two years. He was confident the Bank would achieve these ambitious goals.

At the 2019 Annual Meeting, in May in Sarajevo, shareholders will decide whether to investigate possible further expansion -- outside the current regions of activity.

2018 was a year during which the EBRD extended its broad international shareholder base that already stretches across five continents. India became the Bank’s 69th member and San Marino signed up to take a stake.

The EBRD also continued last year to work towards its climate finance goals, devoting 36 percent of its total investments to the green economy. The Bank is well on the way to meeting a target of dedicating a 40 percent share of investments to the green economy by 2020.

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