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Beefing up Bosnian pies

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo

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Bosnia and Herzegovina is famous in the Balkans for its pies, and now the EBRD is helping the country to make more of them. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is providing a loan to one of the leading producers of pastry and frozen foods, Jami. 

The senior six-year loan of €1 million will go towards expanding warehouses and buying more supplies. Part of the loan will go towards new, more energy-efficient cooling systems which will bring the company in line with EU standards.

“Energy efficiency projects are a priority for the EBRD in the Western Balkans and this project will help to reduce CO2 emissions by an estimated 940 tonnes a year,” said Libor Krkoska, Head of the EBRD’s Resident Office in Sarajevo.

Jami d.o.o. is a limited liability company incorporated in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The company wants to become a leading regional producer of frozen food. Jami produces five categories of products under its brand: pies, ready meals, cakes, puffed pastry and filo dough – and it sees scope for increasing production and exports to neighbouring countries.

Mr Fedja Selmanagic, the director and owner of Jami d.o.o., said: “Jami is a young company, but with support from the EBRD we have been able to achieve positive business results despite a difficult economic situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Now the company is modernising the production processes and developing new products which will enhance its competitiveness at the local and international markets”.

The loan is being made within the EBRD-Italy Local Enterprise Facility – a €270 million proprietary investment vehicle for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Western Balkans, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey which provides long-term financing to businesses.

Established in 2006, the Facility includes a €20 million contribution from the Italian government (plus an additional €7 million in technical cooperation funds from Italy) and €250 million from the EBRD.

As of January 2012, LEF had invested €177 million in 75 projects.

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