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    The European Investment Bank (EIB), the financial arm of the European Union, reaffirms its commitment in supporting the economy of Kosovo* after the signature of the framework agreement and the first loan for SMEs in 2013.

    This is the main message of yesterdays' conference in Prishtina organised by the EIB at the  presence of Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, EIB VP Dario Scannapieco, the Minister of Finance Besim Beqaj, and the Head of the EU office Samuel Zbogar. More than 150 representatives of local authorities, private enterprises, and donor community participated at the conference.

    "We are close to the Kosovo government in its efforts to support investments in large infrastructure projects, such as motorways, national roads and railways, as well as into SMEs which are the backbone of country economy.  The EIB is ready to accompany and support these investments in view of a steady and balanced development of Kosovo" said the VP Scannapieco.

    "This meeting opens a new window for private sector funding. The Kosovo government wants to leverage its participation in international financial institutions not only using sovereign loans but also by developing a strong and active private sector. The level of attendance of so many representatives of the business community at the conference, shows the great responsiveness of the sector to such EIB initiatives and the need to strengthen the dialogue on private sector development" Said Minister Beqaj.

    "We all wish to see an improved production sector, establishment of successful businesses that will not only bring new jobs, but will also be able to compete and offer their products beyond the Kosovo domestic market. We would also like to see more efficiency on the public sector side in creating a business-friendly environment that will attract foreign investors and provide a good framework for the local business to prosper." Said Mr Zbogar.

    * This designation is without prejudice to the positions expressed by the EU Member States on Kosovo’s status and is in line with UN Security Council Resolution No. 1244/1999 and the International Court of Justice Opinion on Kosovo’s declaration of independence.