The EIB will hold its annual Forum 2004 in Warsaw on 14 and 15 October. The topic "Investing in the New Member States" addresses both participants from old and new member states. The Forum will look at investment trends in infrastructure and opportunities for foreign direct investments in the private sector of the new Member states.
Important investments in the new Member States are needed for catching-up economically to the income levels of the old ones and, thereby, contribute to the enlarged European Union's social cohesion. And, important investments are also needed for reducing the wide disparities in employment and income levels within the individual new Member states.
From this year on, EU's Structural and Cohesion Funds will provide substantial amounts of grant money that can be combined with EIB loans for co-financing infrastructure. The financial resources must be used most efficiently for achieving sound and regionally balanced growth. Therefore, the Forum will also look at policy lessons to be learned from countries that have managed to catch-up rapidly, such as Ireland or Spain.