12/04/2011 – IPA: WBIF AND EU RENEW EFFORTS IN BALKANS
BARI – Aid for small and medium-sized enterprises and the fight against climate change are among the priorities for the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF), the joint instrument of subsidies and loans for financing priority investments in the Balkans. In 2010, there was particular focus on infrastructure , with 73 projects approved for a total value of 6 billion euros in Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia. The projects were supported, through the WBIF, by the European Commission, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB). As part of this, Serbia, where 10% of the entire population (around 700,000 people) lives below the poverty line, is attempting to attract further investment. This could lead to a new deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) without further debt for Belgrade. In the energy sector, Croatian businesses are also attempting to attract new investments, as part of the "intelligent energy in Europe" programme. Between 2006 and 2010, Croatia put forward 236 projects, of which 50 were accepted, and carried out with financing worth 4.5 million euros.
Source: Vecchio sito IPA