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 on Kosovo's declaration of independence.
The EIB Group has stepped up its level of precaution at its headquarters in Luxembourg and in its external offices. All staff will telework as of 16 March. A small number of staff whose physical presence on EIB premises is indispensable will continue to be present on the EIB campus. The decision aims to protect the health of employees and ensure the continuity of the EIB Group’s activity.
On Wednesday the EIB identified its first case of one staff member who tested positive for corona virus.
As a precautionary measure, the EIB decided not to hold the meeting of its Board of Directors planned for Thursday 12 March in person. Decisions on the Board’s agenda will be taken by written procedure. The Bank has put in place measures to prevent disruption to its governance or operation approval schedule.
On Monday 2 March, the former President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, visited the EIB in Luxembourg on a joint invitation from the Bank, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the Court of Auditors.