EIB Global visits Montenegro, pledging support for the green transition and decarbonisation of the local economy
29 July 2022
A delegation from EIB Global, led by Acting Managing Director Markus Berndt, and the Government of Montenegro discuss new projects and cooperation on the country’s social and economic development.
Markus Berndt reaffirms EIB Global’s commitment to financing and supporting Montenegro’s green transition towards a carbon-neutral, sustainable economy.
EIB Global signs a €50 million climate credit line with the IDF for Montenegrin SMEs, the second since 2021.
Since 2020, EIB Global has invested €150 million in the IDF to accelerate the recovery and decarbonisation of the Montenegrin economy.
A delegation from the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Bank of the European Union, and its recently established development branch, EIB Global, met the Government of Montenegro in Podgorica today. Their goal was to identify new projects and continue their successful cooperation on accelerating the country’s social and economic development, as well as its accession to the European Union.
Led by Acting Managing Director Markus Berndt, the EIB Global delegation met the Prime Minister of Montenegro Dritan Abazović, Deputy Prime Ministers Jovana Marović and Ervin Ibrahimović, and the country’s Finance Minister Aleksandar Damjanović. The two sides discussed the investment opportunities for Montenegro unlocked by the European Union’s Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans, and the ways EIB Global can support Montenegro in attracting the funds made available by this and other EU programmes.
EIB Global Acting Managing Director Markus Berndt said:“This visit was an excellent opportunity to assure the Government that we plan to remain a strategic partner of Montenegro. We want to extend our financial and technical support to ensure Montenegro can recover from COVID-19 faster, continue with its social and economic development and accelerate its EU accession. Our new development branch, EIB Global, will allow us to expand this support further. Since Montenegro became independent, EIB Global has provided €1 billion in investments, unlocking a further €2 billion in financing in the country. We can help increase this with long-term financing and advisory support, and by blending our financing with EU grants and funds to ensure a sustainable future for the people and businesses of Montenegro. I would like to thank the Government of Montenegro for giving us an opportunity to help Montenegro grow and develop in its efforts to gain full membership of the European Union.”
Prime Minister of Montenegro Dritan Abazović underlined the importance of support for the implementation of large-scale infrastructure projects in energy sector, focusing on the construction of windfarms and solar power plants. This would lead to improvement of energy sustainability of Montenegro and create preconditions for faster socio-economic growth. “Priority for this Government is constructing Bar-Boljare highway and connecting it within wider road corridor that leads to Belgrade and Budapest. All of the above will enable Port of Bar to start operating in full capacity and we expect the European Investment Bank’s support for these activities.”, stated the Prime Minister Abazovic.
EU Ambassador to Montenegro Oana-Cristina Popa said:“This loan agreement is very good example of the Team Europe approach, in which the European Union, its Member States and, in this case, the European Investment Bank are working together to support environmentally sustainable economic growth in Montenegro. Combined with the EU Delegation’s planned assistance, this preferential loan will enable local companies to create the much-needed jobs and to add value to the Montenegrin economy. A better access to finance, provided under this loan agreement, is essential for small and medium-sized enterprises, which are the backbone of Montenegro's economy.”
EIB Global continues to support Montenegrin SMEs
Following the meeting between EIB Global and the Government of Montenegro, the European Union and the Montenegrin Investment and Development Fund (IDF) signed a loan agreement allowing the EU bank to lend €50 million and create a new credit line for climate-friendly and energy-efficient investments by local small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The credit line available at the IDF will allow SMEs to address liquidity issues and invest in improving the energy efficiency of their businesses, reducing the country’s energy waste and dependence on fossil fuels.
This operation is a part of Team Europe’s COVID-19 recovery programme, and unlocks a new source of much-needed climate and environmental sustainability financing to fast-track the decarbonisation of the local economy and its uncoupling from fossil fuels.
EIB Global Acting Managing Director Markus Berndt, said:“The loan agreement we signed today with the IDF will help Montenegrin companies transform their businesses and transition towards a climate-neutral, circular and sustainable economy. This loan is yet another sign of EIB Global’s continued support for Montenegro and its transformation into a sustainable and green economy, capable of creating jobs and income for the people of Montenegro.”
Irena Radović, Executive Director of the Investment and Development Fund of Montenegro, said: “In this post-pandemic recovery period, I expect this agreement signed today, which is the second tranche within the first climate financial framework in the Western Balkan region, to give impetus to development of the Montenegrin economy and creation of better living conditions in the country. This is a project with highlighted climate component, and today’s agreement enables green path of the Montenegrin economy. That is why, on the basis of intensive and productive cooperation with the EIB, the IDF became a leader for green projects over the past period and has an ambition to become a leader in digitalisation of the Montenegrin economy, as the case in the area of economic empowerment of women.”
Since 2020, EIB Global and the IDF have unlocked €150 million in more affordable loans to boost the post-pandemic recovery and decarbonisation of the Montenegrin economy. EIB Global’s cooperation with the IDF has helped SMEs recover faster from the pandemic and supported Montenegro’s transition towards a circular, green, sustainable and socially just economy.
EIB Global — a reliable partner for Montenegro
EIB Global is ready to support the European Commission’s Economic and Investment Plan by increasing financial and technical support for the development of infrastructure, connectivity and energy efficiency projects in Montenegro, which are vital for the sustainable, green development of the country and faster EU accession,
To date, the EIB has supported the economic and social development of Montenegro with close to €1 billion invested in Montenegrin small businesses and the development of a green and sustainable national transport network. EIB Global plans to continue supporting the development of sustainable transport, healthcare, water and education infrastructure. EIB Global’s investments in Montenegro have unlocked a further €2 billion in financing for projects in the country.
About EIB Global:
EIB Global is the EIB Group’s new specialised arm dedicated to increasing the impact of international partnerships and development finance. EIB Global is designed to foster strong, focused partnership within Team Europe, alongside fellow development finance institutions and civil society. EIB Global brings the Group closer to local people, companies and institutions through its offices around the world.
The EIB is one the leading international financiers in the Western Balkans. Since 2009, the Bank has financed projects totalling almost €10 billion in the region. Besides providing continued support for the reconstruction and upgrade of public infrastructure, the EIB has expanded into many new areas since 2010, including healthcare, research and development, education and SMEs.
The European Union is the largest donor and investor in Montenegro. Since 2007, it has allocated more than 610 million euros in grants in order to improve the lives of Montenegrin citizens. Through hundreds of projects implemented together with state and local authorities, civil society organisations, businesses and citizens, the European Union has been making a substantive difference in Montenegro over the past 15 years.
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