Western Balkans prime ministers attend EBRD investment summit
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) welcomed on Monday 28 February, the heads of gover...
A robust, innovative, and competitive private sector is essential for the socio-economic development of the Western Balkans and its regional integration. As in most transition economies, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) suffer from low competitiveness, difficult access to financing, lack of skills, and poor integration into global supply chains. The focus is on improving access to financing and business support to SMEs through the Western Balkans Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility (WB EDIF). The WBIF has also financed the EIB/European PPP Expertise Centre’s (EPEC) initiative that promotes work with key Public-Private Partnership (PPP) bodies in the region in order to increase their capacity to identify, prepare and implement PPP projects.
Since the 1990s, the Western Balkan economies have achieved remarkable growth while reducing poverty. Living standards have increased across the region and access to public services has improved. However, the Western Balkans still need to undertake important efforts to meet the key economic requirements for EU membership: to ensure functioning market economies and demonstrate the capacity to cope with the competitive pressure and market forces within the European Union.
This requires reform of their economic governance systems and implementation of economic structural reforms. The Economic Reform Programme (ERP) process remains the key instrument through which the EU and the Western Balkans jointly identify reform priorities. The Commission is providing significant support to this end. For the purposes of this plan, focus will be put on developing a stronger private sector and investing in human capital.
The Economic and Investment Plan foresees the investment Flagship 9 - Investing in the Competitiveness of the Private Sector.Read More
Increase of financing for businesses through substantial allocations under the Western Balkans Guarantee Facility.
Availability of export-oriented investments for greater market integration and trade within the region and with the EU.
Finance and training for entrepreneurship in order to create and grow businesses.
Support to start-ups, scaling up of innovative companies, programmes for financial and digital literacy and incubators.
Supporting the economies to grow through building on the region’s strengths and innovative potential.
Support to the balanced rural development and to strengthen the competitiveness and viability of the agri-food sector.
Scaling up investments in green technologies and reducing their costs of deployment in the region - Green for Growth Fund and Regional Energy Efficiency Programme (REEP/REEP+).
(2009 - 2020)
The mission of the Western Balkans Enterprise Development & Innovation Facility (WB EDIF) is to support and enhance the private sector development of the region by providing both improved access to finance and access to support measures aimed at both SMEs as well as policy makers in the region. WB EDIF aims to adapt to market changes and condense the insight and expertise of its members to offer beneficial, comprehensive and complementary measures to the Western Balkans market.Read More
The investment capacity of the region should be additionally boosted by the mobilisation of a new Western Balkans Guarantee facility, with the ambition to potentially raise investments of up to EUR 20 billion. The Guarantee Facility will be established under the post-2020 EU External Action Guarantee and the European Fund for Sustainable Development Plus. It will include provision of EU budgetary guarantees to the European Investment Bank as well as to other implementing partners, for the benefit of financing operations and investment programmes that implement the policies established in IPA III and the Economic and Investment Plan.Read More