Serbia’s government is working on coordinating the lending of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with the grants extended to them by the European Union.
A model for combining the EBRD lending and EU grants under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) is needed to facilitate the access of SMEs to financing, Serbia’s European integration minister Jadranka Joksimovic said in a press release on Monday.
Serbia also needs to deepen its cooperation with the EBRD in the development of energy efficiency projects, Joksimovic said during a meeting with EBRD director for Serbia Dan Berg, according to the press release.
Serbia’s European integration ministry and the Development Agency of Serbia recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to coordinate the activities for financing of local development projects through a network of regional development agencies, Joksimovic said.
The reform of state-owned enterprises and public utilities tops the list of priorities set out in the new five-year strategy for Serbia which the EBRD has adopted, the bank said in March.
The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Serbia. To date, the bank has invested 4.7 billion euro ($5.6 billion) across some 200 projects in the country.