9th April 2022, Skopje – European Bank from Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is the most active financial institution in the country. In the past 30 years, North Macedonia was constantly extended support when implementing its priorities, with such support continuing further. Successful and continuing support was confirmed today at the meeting between Minister of Finance, Fatmir Besimi, and EBRD President, Odile Renaud Basso, held within the Delphi Economic Forum taking place in Greece.
“The Green Deal is in the focus of the Government activities, has shown to be important, especially amid energy crisis and in times of supplying energy products from own sources. On the path to expanding the electricity generation capacities, support from the international financial institutions, especially EBRD, is crucial”, Minister Besimi pointed out.
Talking about the measures the Government undertakes to manage the impact of the price and the energy crises, as well as the need for possible additional support to the standard of the citizens and the national economy, directly depending on the development and the duration of the conflict in Ukraine, the Minister underlined that support from international institutions, as during the COVID-19 induced crisis, is welcomed to overcome the energy crisis with less pressure.
“Set of measures to support the standard of the citizens and companies’ liquidity is worth EUR 400 million. Last year already, support amounting to Denar 10.6 billion was extended to Power Plants Macedonia in order to prevent high increase of electricity, as well as heating, prices. To the end of further supporting the company’s liquidity, EBRD offered a credit line, the process for which is ongoing. What is important is that the interest rate of this credit line is around 1%. Discussions between EBRD and Power Plants Macedonia are ongoing and it is expected for all legal document, which are to be signed following the adoption of the Law on Guarantee by the Parliament of North Macedonia, to be finalized soon”, Besimi pointed out.
The world, especially Europe, on the grounds of which a war is waged, has been stricken by major crisis, in times when the economy has not recovered from the Covid crisis yet, so overcoming it calls for joint efforts and investments.
Implementation of the Greece – North Macedonia gas interconnector, funds and grant therefore already being provided from EBRD, is of crucial importance for our country, and support is needed for the financial close thereof. The investment is estimated at EUR 53 million, with EUR 25 million provided from EIB and EUR 12 million as WBIF grant.
During the meeting, emphasis was also put on EBRD support in the implementation of Corridor 8 infrastructure projects, as well as the construction of Skopje – Blace motorway.
Minister Besimi pointed out that North Macedonia appreciates EBRD support in obtaining WBIF grant in the amount of EUR 230.35 million, EUR 152.45 million out of which are intended for co-financing of eastern part of rail Corridor VIII, i.e. the last section Kriva Palanka – Border with Bulgaria. They also discussed for both the Ministry of Finance and EBRD to initiate activities in future to commence the construction of the western part of Rail Corridor 8 – Kicevo – border with Albania.
Active portfolio of EBRD in the country amounts to more than EUR 900 million at the moment, 83% out of which are planned for infrastructure projects, 14% in the financial sector and 3% in the industry, trade and agribusiness sectors. EBRD has been active in the country since 1993 and it has approved 154 projects totaling EUR 2.2 billion to date.