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From the EIB record investment in the Balkans,1.2 bn in 2023

(ANSA) - BRUSSELS, 09 FEB - In 2023, EIB Global, the financial arm of the European Investment Bank (EIB), has invested a record €1.2 billion in the Western Balkans to mobilize more than €6 billion in new investment in the region, enhancing its connectivity, energy transition, and SME growth, in line with EU priorities. The EIB reported in a statement. "The funds support projects under the Economic and Investment Plan and the Global Gateway initiative, strategic tools of the EU to fill existing infrastructure gaps and improve living standards," said Kyriacos Kakouris, EIB Vice-President in charge of the region. The largest share of the new funds (58%, 693 million euros) went to safer and more sustainable transportation, particularly to rail lines in Serbia (Belgrade-Niš) and northern Macedonia (Kriva Palanka-Bulgarian border). Additional funding was then signed for the modernization of urban transport in Sarajevo and a road rehabilitation and safety project in Serbia. Twenty-three percent of the financing, or €275 million, was used to support SMEs in the Western Balkans, whereas the remaining funds were invested in energy, water, health, and education projects. Since 2010, the EIB has invested more than 10 billion euros in the region to help local economies grow sustainably. (ANSA).