- Heads of governments of six Western Balkans countries to attend event in London
- Focus on foreign direct investment, regional and international economic integration
- 2022 project pipeline focuses on green infrastructure, renewables and small businesses
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will host the government heads of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia at its Western Balkans Investment Summit 2022 on Monday 28 February.
The event will be held in a hybrid online and physical format. The interactive discussion between the heads of governments and EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso will be live-streamed. Investors will be able to join the interactive “Prime Ministers’ Session” online.
The summit will be attended by: Ana Brnabic, Prime Minister of Serbia; Dimitar Kovacevski, Prime Minister of North Macedonia; Zdravko Krivokapic, Prime Minister of Montenegro; Albin Kurti, Prime Minister of Kosovo; Edi Rama, Prime Minister of Albania; Zoran Tegeltija, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina; and Odile Renaud-Basso, President of the EBRD.
The EU Commissioner for Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi , will also address the summit.
The panel will be broadcast live via the Kaltura platform, which will appear on a dedicated page on ebrd.com. In the event of any technical difficulties, the back-up live stream will be available on YouTube. Translation to and from Albanian, Macedonian, Bosnian/Croatian/Montenegrin/Serbian will be provided via the Interactio app.
This is the fifth EBRD summit of its kind; the inaugural Western Balkans Summit, which brought together all the region’s prime ministers for the first time, took place at the EBRD in February 2014. The aim of the summit is to highlight investment and business opportunities and to promote regional connectivity.
The EBRD in the Western Balkans
The Western Balkans is a priority region for the EBRD, the largest institutional investor in the region, with more than €15 billion invested to date.
Having invested €1.046 billion in 2021, the EBRD has already identified investment opportunities of the same amount for 2022, and expects to increase the pipeline further. This comprises, among other things, projects supporting the green energy transition, regional connectivity and environmental infrastructure, as well as financing for the private sector, both directly and through credit lines and risk sharing with local commercial banks.
Albania: the EBRD invested €201 million in 2021, with total commitments of €1.8 billion. A recent collaboration with the EU and the government of Albania provided support to tourism and agribusiness.
Bosnia and Herzegovina: the EBRD invested €140 million in 2021, with total commitments of €2.8 billion. Recently the Bank financed energy efficiency in buildings with the EU and signed new funding for the digitalisation and competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
North Macedonia: the EBRD invested €134 million in 2021, with total commitments of €2.23 billion. The Bank introduced the Risk Sharing Facility with a local bank as a new product in the country. A new model of cooperation with the UN on green financing will be piloted in the country in 2022, with government support.
Kosovo: the EBRD invested €50 million in 2021, with total commitments of €583 million. The EBRD has just adopted a new Country Strategy for Kosovo and supported female entrepreneurs with the EU and other donors.
Montenegro: the EBRD invested €22 million in 2021, with total commitments of €703 million. Recently, the EBRD supported a comprehensive review of broadband infrastructure development in Montenegro, with technical assistance funded by the EU via the Western Balkans Investment Fund (WBIF).
Serbia: the EBRD invested €499 million in 2021, with total commitments of €7.2 billion. Most recently, the EBRD and Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) provided €150 million for solid waste management.
The EBRD is actively engaged in areas of policy and regulatory reform, helping countries to develop and implement ambitious decarbonisation strategies, strengthen the business climate and governance of state-owned enterprises, create more inclusive economies, and accelerate the digital transition of the region. In the most recent example, the Bank helped the stock exchange of North Macedonia develop guidelines for environmental, social and governance reporting of listed companies.
The Bank also backs regional and cross-border projects. One example of innovative financing is the recent investment in an equity fund which will provide equity financing to early-stage technology companies in the Western Balkans, Croatia and Slovenia.
Construction started on the electricity interconnector between North Macedonia and Albania, supported also by the EU grant under the Western Balkans Investment Framework.