EIB invests 853 mln euros in Western Balkans in 2021

EIB invests 853 mln euros in Western Balkans in 2021

The European Investment Bank (EIB) said on Monday that it invested 853 million euro ($975.6 million) in the Western Balkans last year in support of sustainable development, green transition, digitalisation and small businesses.

Of the total sum, 560 million euro were invested in the coronavirus recovery of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which helped the businesses maintain liquidity and investments, adapt, preserve and create jobs, the EIB said in a statement.

Close to 200 million euro were directed towards digital projects, to enable smart, resilient and inclusive growth in the region. This investment addresses the region’s digital gap and allows upgrades to the existing 4G network and introduction of the 5G network, digitalisation of over 1,500 schools and development of digital skills, the EIB added.

The EIB also said that last year it unlocked a total of 257 million euro for environmental protection, more secure and efficient energy networks, sustainable transportation and the introduction of climate-friendly projects among small companies, in line with the EU Commission’s Economic and Investment Plan and new Global Gateway.

The EIB funding will also strengthen energy networks in Southeast Europe with the introduction of secure, diverse and efficient supply, the statement read.

The EIB noted that it supports the fast and green recovery of the region with 1.7 billion euro already delivered as part of EU's Team Europe financial package for COVID-19.

According to the statement, the Western Balkans will benefit further from the launch of EIB Global, the EIB’s new branch established to accelerate financing and impact outside the EU through streamlined expertise and financial support.

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