The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Union are increasing their support for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Western Balkans with the provision of additional financing, following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the EBRD says.
The London-based bank said it will provide up to EUR 70 million in new credit lines to partner financial institutions for on-lending to local businesses in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia.
It added that the EU is complementing these funds with EUR 15 mln to identify and verify the best available equipment and technologies to ensure that SMEs increase their competitiveness and support the shift towards a green economy.
The countries of the Western Balkans responded to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic with strict public health measures which have had a severe economic impact. The countries are also suffering from a global economic downturn and reduced demand for their products, the EBRD says.