The EBRD is committed to supporting Serbia’s EU integration and our activities in the country are consistent with that process. We are working to strengthen the sustainability and competitiveness of the Serbian economy and to accelerate its convergence towards EU standards in many areas.
The EBRD has two key priorities. The first is to accelerate transition to the green economy, with a view to reducing energy intensity and environmental pollution. The starting point of this is to lower overall consumption through energy efficiency investments, both in the industrial and residential sectors, which we support with targeted financing programmes that are largely implemented through commercial banks. The second step is to increase the electrification of the economy, including through substantial investments in energy grids and electrically powered transport. The third is to switch from coal and rapidly increasing the share of renewables in the Serbian power mix. In this area, we are keen to offer support to the authorities in setting up renewable energy auctions to attract quality private investors and take full advantage of the lower prices driven by the rapid advances in solar and wind power technologies.
The starting point of our intervention is to help lower overall energy consumption through energy efficiency investments, both in the industrial and residential sectors
We are working to strengthen the competitiveness of the private sector by helping companies raise business standards in terms of digitalisation, environmental performance and social inclusion. We are doing this, for example, through a number of programmes to improve access to finance and skills for Serbian SMEs. We are also working on two other important ingredients for integration into global value chains. The first is access to modern transport infrastructure, with the EBRD’s focus increasingly on financing the upgrade of Serbia’s railways system. The second is a business environment that attracts quality FDI and enables local companies to grow. We have a number of initiatives in this area, for example to support the digitalisation of public administration and the efficiency of business inspections.