- EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova and Prime Minister Dimitar Kovačevski formally inaugurated the EIB’s representation in North Macedonia
- This new EIB Representation in Skopje will extend further the advisory and financial support under EIB Global for the country and therefore additionally promote sustainable growth, boost employment and private sector support
- To date, the EIB Group has invested €1 billion in the economic and social development of North Macedonia.
30th May 2022, Skopje – Today, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the bank of European Union, has officially inaugurated its new representation office in Skopje, located on the premises of the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of North Macedonia. By taking this step, the EU bank confirms its support for the sustainable growth and green transition of the country. The new dedicated local presence will enhance technical and financial support for private and public investment in the country.
Opening an EIB representation office in Skopje is in line with the EIB’s policy of establishing a presence in more countries outside the European Union (EU). This effort will help the EU bank to understand regional financing needs, identify more new projects and establish closer ties with national authorities and other stakeholders. To date, the EIB has established offices in 23 EU Member States and 30 countries outside the EU, promoting business and policy dialogue. At the opening ceremony, Prime Minister of North Macedonia, Dimitar Kovačevski and EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova were joined by the Minister of Finance Fatmir Besimi, the Head of EU Delegation in North Macedonia David Geer, and other high-level representatives of the business and banking community and international financial partners.
EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova, responsible for operations in North Macedonia, said: “Opening the EIB representation office in North Macedonia is a clear signal of our profound dedication to the country’s prosperity, as well as its regional and EU integration. The extension of our outreach in the country is coming at the right time as we are all facing complex climate, energy and social challenges which require a new approach and partnership model under Team Europe. As a well-established and reliable partner for the country, our new office will help the EIB scale up its support for the energy transition, environment protection, sustainable transport, local economic development and private sector. It will foster our cooperation with the European Commission and local partners in delivering even more targeted support for key projects under the Commission’s Economic and Investment Plan and Global Getaway initiative.”
The new EIB representation office in Skopje will enable the EU bank to increase its operational capacity under its new branch “EIB Global” and develop closer relations with national authorities, project promoters, local organisations and financial institutions. In doing so, the EU bank hopes to accelerate new initiatives and enhance project identification, preparation, the securing of financing and execution according to best practices. It will continue to support the public sector and would like to increase its support for the private sector in the country.
Björn Gabriel, appointed EIB representative for North Macedonia, has been with the EIB for 14 years. Until recently, he has headed the Policies & Operations team at the EIB Group Representation to the European Union in Brussels, working closely with EU institutions, Member States and think tanks to help determine the Bank`s contribution to key EU policies and initiatives across a range of sectors, including the Western Balkans region and enlargement policy. EIB Global will do everything it can to show that the EIB’s advisory and financial support granted in cooperation with the European Commission and our financial partners accelerates growth, makes rural areas more prosperous, brings sustainable transformation across the country and strengthens the local economy.
Prime Minister of North Macedonia Dimitar Kovačevski stressed that the very opening of a representative office of the European Investment Bank in our country is a strong message, as well as a recognition for North Macedonia’s efforts to make energy transition, environmental protection, sustainable transport, local economic development and private sector, top priorities.
“In the period from 1991 until nowadays, the EIB provided EUR 1 billion as support for the social and the economic development during the process of our country’s accession to the EU by financing small- and medium-sized enterprises, transport, energy and utility infrastructure projects. At present, funds amounting to EUR 246.9 million intended for co-financing public sector projects, provide for the ongoing implementation of the Water Supply and Wastewater Collection Project, COVID-19 Reponses North Macedonia – DBNM for Financing Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Mid-Caps Companies, Gas Interconnector Greece- North Macedonia, North Macedonia Part, as well as Wastewater Treatment Plant Skopje”, the Prime Minister Kovačevski said.
Minister of Finance of North Macedonia Famir Besimi underlined that EIB office opening is proof for close cooperation between EU and Republic of North Macedonia in EU accession process.
“Eastern part of rail Corridor VIII, the last section Kriva Palanka – Border with Bulgaria, Gas – Interconnector with Greece, upon which we already signed legal documents with EIB, as well as continued the financial support for financing small-nd medium-sized enterprises with new credit line, are only one of the projects which are going to be carried out with the support from the European Investment Bank. We sincerely appreciate EIB’s decision to open office in Skopje, thus supporting the Government in advancing the implementation of the Economic Investment Plan”, Minister Besimi stated.
Head of EU Delegation in North Macedonia David Geer stated: “The opening of a new EIB Representation Office in Skopje provides an excellent opportunity to strengthen our support for North Macedonia. By working together on the ground as Team Europe – the EU, EU Member States and the EIB as our foremost financial institution – can continue to make a real contribution to the country, strengthening the economy, creating jobs and making a practical difference to the lives of citizens.”
The EIB is a long-standing partner to North Macedonia and started operations in the country in 1977. Since then, it has invested €1.1 billion to support the development of vital infrastructure and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Since 2009, the EIB has unlocked €635 million for SMEs and mid-caps in North Macedonia, sustaining close to 100 000 jobs in the process. Over the same period, it has allocated over €277 million to the construction of a modern transport network in North Macedonia, contributing to road safety, reduced travel times and regional cohesion. In water and wastewater infrastructure, the EIB has invested €128 million to date, which has helped improve access to drinking water and sanitation services for people in North Macedonia, while also reducing water pollution. The EIB is financing the construction of the wastewater plant in Skopje, which is a major environmental project.