The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) invested a record EUR 846 million in Serbia last year, up by nearly EUR 200 million from 2022 and well above the previous all-time high of EUR 679 million in 2020.

Thanks to this, Serbia ranks among the top five recipients of EBRD investment for the first time, the press release says.

– We are very proud of our results in Serbia last year, delivering record investment and support for the economy. Serbia is among the EBRD’s five largest markets for the first time, all the more remarkable given the size of its economy. We financed impactful projects in the energy sector, in infrastructure, innovation, attracting foreign direct investment and supporting small and medium-sized enterprises – said Matteo Colangeli, EBRD Regional Director for the Western Balkans.

In 2023, the Bank financed 28 projects in Serbia, with a strong focus on the green transition, digital advancement and economic inclusion.

The press release says that energy took center stage, with a EUR 300 million loan to state-owned utility EPS, alongside a substantial package of technical assistance to support reforms at the company and in the sector more broadly.

– The EBRD also played a key role in preparing and completing the country’s inaugural wind and solar energy auction – the first in a three-year-plan to bring contracts for 1,300 MW of renewables to market – it is added.

The Bank invested in telecom towers and continued to finance the railway sector with a loan to Srbija Voz, the national rail passenger operator. For the first time, the EBRD also invested in innovation-enabling infrastructure with an EUR 80 million loan for the Niš, Čačak and Kruševac science and technology parks and the Bio4 campus in Belgrade.

As always, the Bank was highly active in the private sector, financing larger foreign direct investment, such as BIG retail parks, and supporting local SMEs with more than EUR 300 million in loans and trade finance channeled through partner banks.

Serbia joined the EBRD in 2001. To date, the Bank has invested more than EUR 8.8 billion in the country through 347 projects, largely in the private sector, the EBRD says in the press release.