Sarajevo, May 13, 2015/ Independent Balkan news Agency
By Mladen Dragojlovic
BiH Council of ministers decided to establish an Investment committee as an institution which is necessary for accessing EU funds in the future.
EU delegation in BiH welcomed the decision, since it is in line with recent recommendations of the European Union on the ‘Connectivity Agenda’ for the Western Balkans.
“Once operational, this Investment Committee will need to bring together all relevant ministries and financial partners to carefully select priorities and to explore all possible sources of funding. The Investment Committee will need to establish for each sector ‘single project pipelines’, i.e. a comprehensive planning and funding mechanism, comprising the most relevant investment projects to be financed in the country. These pipelines must reflect the overall needs for the country including in particular the regional core transport network and they must take into account the country’s ability to finance its share of the costs. With this important first step taken, we very much encourage BiH authorities to redouble efforts to have the prerequisite credible sector strategies and ‘single project pipelines’ developed, as well as a regulatory framework compatible with EU requirements, to be able to get access to this EU funding”, announced the EU Delegation in BiH.
In the announcement, EU Delegation reminded that EU plans to use one billion Euro over the next five years for technical preparations and investment co-financing for developing and interconnecting transport and energy infrastructure in the Western Balkans region, leading to further integration with member states of the European Union. The EU funding should leverage considerable loan-financing from International Financial Institutions.
“With the establishment of this Investment Committee, BiH has taken the first important step towards accessing these funds. While this is a real chance for BiH to significantly advance its transport and energy sectors, it also facilitates future assistance in other capital-intensive sectors, for which single project pipelines are required. The substantial assistance from the EU needs to be accompanied by robustly prioritized efforts in BiH which could lead to boosting overall competitiveness, economic growth, job creation and a real improvement of BiH citizens’ lives. As such, the Connectivity Agenda is fully complementary to the Compact for Growth and Jobs, which authorities have committed to implement”, emphasized EU Delegation in announcement.