EBRD adopts new country strategy for Bosnia and Herzegovina

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo

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  • EBRD Board adopts new strategy for Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Priorities: Private-sector skills and digitalisation; infrastructure and regional integration; low-carbon transition
  • Vice President for Policy Mark Bowman to visit Sarajevo next week

The EBRD’s Board of Directors has approved a new country strategy for Bosnia and Herzegovina that will define the Bank’s investments there in the period 2022-27.

The strategic priorities of the EBRD will be: to strengthen the role of the private sector, including through the upgrade of skills and digitalisation; to close key infrastructure gaps, pursuing governance improvements and further regional integration; and to support energy diversification away from coal and promote a low-carbon transition.

The strategy was approved days before a planned visit to the country by EBRD Vice President for Policy and Partnerships, Mark Bowman, who will be in Sarajevo on 11 and12 April to discuss its implementation with the authorities.

“The EBRD remains as committed as ever to Bosnia and Herzegovina. For the past 25 years, we have invested in flagship projects such as the motorway Corridor Vc, in municipal infrastructure and in private businesses. With five Bosnian cities already in our successful Green Cities programme, I am delighted to be signing new investments during my visit to support greener municipal services and public transport in the Sarajevo Canton and Brcko District,” said Bowman.

The Bank started investing in Bosnia and Herzegovina 25 years ago, with its first investment in 1996 – made just after the end of the war – supporting the emergency reconstruction of electricity and telecommunication networks. Since 1996, the EBRD has committed more than €2.83 billion across 200 projects in the country.

Investments in 2020 and 2021 alone exceeded €300 million. Disbursements of committed funds did not slow down during the pandemic, reaching €190 million in 2021 and showing that EBRD projects approved in earlier years are successfully moving towards implementation.

In 2022, the EBRD stands ready to increase its support for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s infrastructure, greener cities and better municipal services for citizens, as well as for energy efficiency in public and private buildings. In addition, it stands ready to increase support for credit lines to local banks to support women entrepreneurs and the digital readiness and competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises. In the days ahead, the Bank will also sign a financing agreement with local transmission-system operator Transco, to strengthen network connectivity and readiness for the expansion of renewable energy.  

The EBRD’s work in the country is supported by donor funds. The largest international donor is the European Union; contributions from Sweden, Austria, Italy, Japan and many others are also vital in supporting the Bank’s policy-reform and technical-cooperation efforts.

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