32nd WBIF Project Financiers’ Group Meeting (PFG) 18-19 November 2021

32nd WBIF Project Financiers’ Group Meeting (PFG) 18-19 November 2021

22-11-2021

The Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) held its 32nd Project Financiers’ Group Meeting (PFG) on 18 and 19 November 2021. Over 130 participants attended the meeting from the European Commission, financial institutions (EIB, EBRD, CEB, KfW, WBG, AFD, EIF), Bilateral Donors, Western Balkans beneficiaries, Energy Community Secretariat, Permanent Secretariat of the Transport Community, Regional Cooperation Council and OECD.

On the first day, the PFG public sector session discussed the outcome of Round 6 for investment grants. Six investment grant applications for an amount of €360 million and four technical assistance applications for a total grant request of €2.9 million were proposed for funding. The PFG private sector session discussed the priority areas and main instruments available in the upcoming years in support of the competitiveness of the business sector in the region. Projects and programmes, currently part of the WB EDIF, were briefly outlined together with other multi-donor funds part of WBIF, notably EFSE, GGF and REEP.

On the second day, the PFG policy and strategy session was co-chaired by DG NEAR Head of Unit Holger Schröder and KfW Head of Department Klaus Müller.  Presentations focused on the WBIF governance and intervention areas; blending investment priorities and guarantee investment windows; the delineation between WBIF priorities and the Sector Operational Programmes. The European Commission presented the recommendations prepared by the Informal Expert Groups on key topics relevant to the WBIF's role as main vehicle for the implementation of the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans. Endorsed recommendations include measures to accelerate project implementation on the ground, green agenda priorities to be fulfilled with WBIF support, the role of private sector.

The agenda and presentations for this meeting can be found here.