Development Bank of the Council of Europe has invested one billion euros in Serbia

, News

Head of the Development Bank of the Council of Europe, for Serbia and Northern Macedonia, on investments in our country.
The Development Bank of the Council of Europe (CEB), whose headquarters are in Paris, approved a loan worth 200 million euros ten days ago to finance the health sector in Serbia in order to fight the spread of the coronavirus. CEB loans are very favorable, at this moment with an interest rate of zero to 0.5 percent, which is significant at a time of crisis that the whole world is going through.
Jasmina Glisovic, a Serbian woman, the head of Serbia and Northern Macedonia at the CEB, also works in this bank, and in a conversation with “Novosti”, she also says that credit conditions depend on the type of project and the situation on the market.
– Favorable interest rates are the result of a very good credit rating of the Bank as well as the fact that the CEB has a social mandate and a focus on social projects. The bank also approves grants for project preparation and technical support – says Jasmina.
How much have you helped Serbia so far?
– The Republic of Serbia and the CEB have been cooperating for more than 15 years in various areas such as education, culture, health, environmental protection, improvement of energy efficiency, modernization of penitentiary institutions and social housing. I would like to point out the recently approved investment worth 200 million euros for the construction and modernization of the sewerage network throughout Serbia, wastewater treatment plants and water supply. With the latest loan for extraordinary budget expenditures caused by measures to combat the virus, the current investments of the CEB in Serbia will reach almost one billion euros. I would also like to mention the Regional Housing Program, which will provide a permanent housing solution for more than 20,000 refugees from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and which is managed by the CEB. The program is being implemented by Serbia along with three other countries in the region, and is financed from donor funds, of which the EU has made the largest contribution. In addition, the CEB approved close to four million euros in grants to Serbia from the Fund for Migrants and Refugees to finance transit and reception centers.
In 2018, you approved a loan for health infrastructure and improvement of public health institutions in the country. How much did you thus contribute to the fight against the coronavirus in Serbia?
– CEB already supports the health sector in Serbia through several projects. The bank recently approved a 54 million euro investment to build a new Tirsova children’s hospital, as well as a 200 million euro loan to finance health infrastructure across the country, which was approved in late 2018 and ratified in late May last year. Procurement of equipment and reconstruction of several general hospitals throughout Serbia is underway. One of the important investments within that large project, which is being realized through the Office for Public Investment Management, and which started just before the outbreak of the pandemic, is the reconstruction of the Clinic for Infectious and Tropical Diseases of the Clinical Center of Serbia. Healthcare is one of the priority sectors for the CEB and the Covid crisis has only highlighted the need for long-term investments in this sector in all countries of Europe and the world.

Which sector will be your priority for investing in Serbia after the corona?
– In addition to the preparation of new investments, the priority in the coming period will be the successful implementation of already approved projects. Even during the most difficult days of the pandemic, there were no interruptions in activities, so after the corona, we actually continue to work as before. For CEB, the realization of every project in Serbia is equally important because the construction and modernization of social infrastructure, support for small and medium enterprises as well as the improvement of environmental protection are the foundations of sustainable development.
Will you also help preserve jobs after this health crisis?
– Support for the creation of new jobs, as well as the maintenance of existing ones, is implemented through direct financing of the banking sector and the CEB will continue to support small and medium enterprises in Serbia. Cooperation with three commercial banks is planned for this year, including the signing of contracts for two already approved projects, worth a total of 80 million euros, Novosti reports.