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World bank to offer Bosnia USD 750 million for reforms

The World Bank is ready to invest USD 750 mln (EUR 735 mln) in loans to Bosnia, aiming to help it recover from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as support the country’s reforms aimed at job creation and a greener, more inclusive economy, the lender announced.

Through the Country Partnership Framework for 2022-2026, approved by its executive directors on Tuesday, the Bank will support reforms of Bosnia’s inclusive private sector employment, sustainable service delivery, and improvements in resilience to climate change, a statement said.

Under the plan, the country, which wants to join the European Union, will have access to USD 750 million in new lending, depending on the demand and progress in reform implementation.

“Bosnia… can seize the opportunity to move to a better path of growth: one that leads to shared prosperity and eventually to a conversation with the European Union,” the statement quoted Christopher Sheldon, the Bank’s country manager as saying.

In May, the World Bank cut its growth forecast for the Western Balkans, comprising Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, North Macedonia and Kosovo to 3.1 percent from 4.1 percent, citing risks from the war in Ukraine.

The Bank currently has an ongoing portfolio of nine operations in Bosnia worth a total of USD 551.5 mln, while its Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency supports one project with exposure of USD 123 mln.

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