EBRD supporting real economy in Bosnia and Herzegovina

By Axel  Reiserer

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  • EBRD loan of €5 million to Mikrofin Banja Luka
  • Support for local enterprises affected by impact of coronavirus pandemic
  • Strengthening resilience of the private sector

Micro and small enterprises in Bosnia and Herzegovina will be able to draw on support from Mikrofin d.o.o. Banja Luka to overcome the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, thanks to a €5 million loan provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

The financing will be used to offer short-term liquidity to micro enterprises and small-scale farmers. Bosnia and Herzegovina has been hit hard by the economic impact of the crisis. Despite progress in the lifting of public health measures many businesses face unprecedented challenges.

Helping enterprises to overcome the crisis is the goal of the EBRD’s €4 billion Resilience Framework designed to provide existing clients with liquidity support and short-term capital. It is part of the Bank’s Solidarity Package, which also includes trade finance and the restructuring of exposures. The EBRD is dedicating all of its work in 2020-21 to combating the economic impact of Covid-19 and expects to invest up to €21 billion in this period.

Mikrofin is the largest microfinance institution in Bosnia and Herzegovina and operates branches throughout the country. CEO Mladen Bosnić said: “We have a long and successful cooperation with the EBRD and we are looking forward to continuing our work towards the same goal, which is providing support to entrepreneurs in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The new financing will enable Mikrofin to extend new loans to micro and small-business entrepreneurs who we consider to be the most inventive and productive segment of our economy. It is important to mention that this loan was negotiated during the Covid-19 crisis, which confirms the EBRD's strong commitment to supporting small businesses now that they need it more than ever.”

Manuela Naessl, EBRD Head of Bosnia and Herzegovina, added: “I am very pleased with our loan to Mikrofin today, which will support micro and small companies and strengthen their resilience to the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic on their businesses.”

Since it began operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1996, the EBRD has invested €2.6 billion in 177 projects there.

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