EIB Vice-president Dario Scannapieco, responsible for the operations in the Western Balkans met today the Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia Mr. Mirko Cvetkovic. During the visit two loans were signed for the development of municipal infrastructure and healthcare totalling EUR 170 million.
Mr. Scannapieco commented: “The recent loans provided by the EIB in Serbia confirm the Bank’s commitment to support the preparation of the country for the EU membership. The projects financed by the Bank will strengthen economic and social competitiveness of Serbia and improve the quality of life of its citizens. In addition,the signature of these loans together with the ongoing financings of the SMEs through the intermediation of the National Bank of Serbia and the local banks further evidence the response of EIB to the current global financial crisis.”
The first loan of EUR 70 million will finance the modernisation and extension of four tertiary care hospitals in the Capital of Belgrade and the Cities of Kragujevac, Nis and Novi Sad. The project includes mainly the design, construction and equipping of new buildings as well as the rehabilitation of existing hospital buildings. After EUR 80 million granted in 2006, this is the second tranche of EUR 200 million approved EIB loan for the upgrading of tertiary health care services in these four cities.
The framework loan of EUR 50 million will help implement the investment programme of Serbia’s Ministry of the National Investment Plan (NIP) mainly in the areas of transport, education, cultural and historical heritage and public building rehabilitation. The individual sub-projects to be approved upon the request of NIP will be located in various municipalities throughout the country.
Yesterday, the EIB signed a loan of EUR 50 million with Hypo Alpe Adria Leasing d.o.o.to finance indirectly smaller projects ususally promoted by small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) in Serbia in the areas of industry, environment and services, including tourism.
Priority objective of the EIB, the European Union’s financing institution, is to contribute to the integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion of the Member States. Outside the Union, the EIB implements the financial components of agreements concluded under European development aid and cooperation policies.
Since 2001, EIB financing in Serbia has reached some EUR 1.4 billion, including the current loans. After the initial focus in late 1990s on urgent reconstruction and rehabilitation of basic infrastructure, EIB activity in Serbia today is concentrated on the upgrading of the infrastructure networks, with emphasis on fostering regional integration and removing bottlenecks in the road, rail and energy systems and development of municipal and health care infrastructure and indirect financing of projects of Serbian SMEs and municipalities.