EBRD President to visit Kosovo

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo

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  • EBRD President to visit Kosovo for the first time on 12-13 April 2022
  • Odile Renaud-Basso to meet Prime Minister, senior officials and the business community
  • Bank to sign credit lines for Pristina municipality and SME lending

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) President Odile Renaud-Basso will visit Kosovo on 12-13 April 2022.

This is Ms Renaud-Basso’s first visit to the country since becoming EBRD President in late 2020, when travel was restricted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The EBRD President will meet with President Vjosa Osmani, Prime Minister Albin Kurti and other senior government officials to discuss continued EBRD support for economic reform and further regional transport and energy interconnections.

President Renaud-Basso said: “I look forward to my first visit to Pristina and to our discussions with our partners in government and the private sector. We are committed to the greener development of Kosovo, both by increasing the supply of renewable energy and by supporting energy savings across the economy, so I am glad to have an opportunity to sign two new financing packages aimed at increasing energy efficiency.”

The President will sign project agreements with the Minister of Finance and the Mayor of Pristina for energy-efficiency upgrades in the capital city.

She will also meet representatives from the business and financial-sector community and sign a credit line with ProCredit Bank Kosovo, a local partner bank, to promote further lending to support SMEs and international trade.

Prior to the trip, on 1 April, the EBRD President held a virtual meeting with Kosovan civil-society organisations to discuss recent reforms in the areas of the rule of law and transparency, gender and minority inclusion, and green and sustainable development.

The new EBRD country strategy for Kosovo, adopted earlier this year, focuses on private-sector support, the green economy transition and more efficient infrastructure building.

Since 2012, when Kosovo became a full EBRD member, the EBRD has invested about €600 million in its economy. It invested €50 million in the country in 2021 alone.

One of the largest projects (funded by a €57.5 million EBRD loan) has been the 105MW wind farm in Bajgora, which came on stream last month. It will account for 10 per cent of the country’s generation capacity, a large step in diversifying the country’s coal-dependent energy system.

The Western Balkans is a priority region for the EBRD. The Bank is supporting its economic, transport and energy integration with neighbouring countries and partners across Europe more broadly.

The Bank has to date invested more than €15 billion in the Western Balkans region and continues to invest more than €1 billion there every year.

The previous meeting between the EBRD President and Prime Minister Kurti, as well as the heads of government of other countries in the region, took place on 28 February during the Western Balkans Investment Summit 2022 at EBRD headquarters in London.

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