24th October 2023, Skopje – EUR 50 million as funds intended for green and social sphere investments, provided by the French Development Agency, will be made available via the Development Bank of the Republic of North Macedonia. This marked the start of the operations of this Agency in our country, which will provide for strengthened relations between North Macedonia and France, as well as additional impetus for attaining the European Standards, as concluded at today’s meeting between Minister of Finance, Fatmir Besimu and Arnaud Dauphin, Director of AFD Western Balkans Regional Office, and Maxime Lebovics, Deputy Director of AFD Western Balkans Regional Office.
Thereat, Minister Besimi expressed his gratitude to the Agency for its commitment and hard work in creating this first Program, thereby pointing out his expectations for competing the procedure for providing these funds at the beginning of next year, thus making the funds available via the Development Bank.
“Upon its establishment, these are the Agency’s initial activities in our country, which will contribute to encouraging the cooperation between the business communities from both countries, as well as enhancing the support for our country’s economic and social development. Funds will be intended for making investments in environment protection projects and reducing the adverse effects of the climate changes, supporting the women’s entrepreneurship, as well as financing the digitalization process”, Minister of Finance said, adding that this is merely a beginning of a long-standing cooperation, to result in realizing such programs in future.
Given its European agenda, the Agency will have a particular contribution to the implementation of regional integration, the agenda pertaining to connectivity and ties, economic development and social cohesion, environmental and energy transition, as well as innovations and digital economy. There are opportunities for cooperation in plenty areas such as: energy sector, health, education, agriculture, water, transport, urban development and similar.
As a result of the actions taken by the French Development Agency, as the world’s oldest development agency, enormous opportunities are provided for supporting the development of the Republic of North Macedonia, both its democratic and economic development, all to the end of swifter and easier fulfillment of the EU membership criteria.
By starting its operations in our country, French Development Agency will provide a long-term support for attaining economic and social progress, with the European, as well as the regional integration, as an ultimate goal thereof. It operates in the countries in the region, as well as in more than 110 countries throughout the world, with EUR 14 billion as annual investments and a budget for the Western Balkan countries, amounting to around 300 million.