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PRESS RELEASE

World Bank Group Executive Directors Appreciate Kosovo’s Comprehensive Energy Strategy

March 28, 2017


PRISHTINA, March 28, 2017 – A delegation of World Bank Group Executive Directors visited Kosovo on March 27-28 to engage with  Government and other stakeholders on Kosovo’s development priorities and, in particular, the importance of energy sector reforms and regional energy market integration. The visit to Kosovo was part of a broader tour of the Western Balkans region.

The Executive Directors met with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo, the Speaker of Parliament, and the Ministers of Finance, Economic Development, and Trade and Industry, as well as the Governor of the Central Bank, to discuss the country context and challenges, the government’s reform program, and priorities for the World Bank Group engagement in Kosovo, with a focus on the energy sector and regional energy market integration. They also met with representatives of the private sector and the donor community.

The eight-member delegation[i] also visited the aging power plant complex and associated mine on the outskirts of the capital Pristina, in order to understand the technical, environmental and social challenges Kosovo faces in overcoming its energy supply gap.

With income levels still only about one-fourth of the European Union average, and with high levels of unemployment, Kosovo needs to grow faster and create jobs, especially for its large youth population. The country needs affordable, reliable energy to increase growth, reduce poverty, boost employment, and improve people's lives. Helping Kosovo address its energy shortages is one of the goals of the World Bank Group's broader strategy to support inclusive economic growth and job creation in Kosovo.

“Modernizing energy infrastructure and improving the energy mix will be critical to Kosovo’s future growth and job creation” said said Mr. Maximo Torero, Executive Director for Peru, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay. “The World Bank Group is committed to helping Kosovo resolve its energy shortages through a comprehensive strategy that includes increased energy efficiency, development of renewable energy, improved energy distribution, integration into regional power markets, and support for new and cleaner power generation that is both reliable and affordable for citizens”.

The World Bank Group is completing a new Country Partnership Framework for Kosovo for the period 2017–2021, aimed at fostering more sustainable, export-oriented and inclusive growth, in order to provide Kosovo’s citizens more opportunities for a better life. 

The current World Bank lending portfolio amounts to US$124.4 million across six projects in the areas of energy efficiency and renewable energy, education, agriculture, health, cadaster, and the water sector. Since 1999, the World Bank has provided to Kosovo and/or managed roughly US$400 million through more than 30 operations, including through post-conflict trust funds.

The International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) long term finance investment in Kosovo totals US$391.4 million, including US$369.2 million mobilized from IFC’s partners, in five projects across a variety of sectors. In addition, IFC has supported trade flows of US$4.8 million through its trade finance program. IFC’s committed investment portfolio in Kosovo as of today is US$7.5 million.

The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) has issued a political risk insurance guarantee in the financial service sector with the objective of expanding domestic lending activities in the country, specifically to SMEs.

The World Bank Group Board members are collectively called the Executive Directors. The Board of Directors includes the President of the World Bank Group and 25 Executive Directors. Member countries of the World Bank Group appoint or elect Executive Directors to the Boards of the IBRD, IDA, IFC and MIGA. While the World Bank Group maintains four separate Boards, Executive Directors typically serve on these Boards simultaneously. For more information, visit:

https://www.worldbank.org/en/about/leadership/directors

[i] The delegation of the Executive Directors includes: Mr. Franciscus Godts (representing Belgium, Austria, Belarus, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Luxembourg, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Turkey); Mr. Werner Gruber (representing Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Poland, Serbia, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan), Mr. Jason Allford (representing Australia, Cambodia, Kiribati, Korea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Mongolia, Nauru, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Vanuatu); Mr. Subhash Garg (representing India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri-Lanka); Ms. Karen Mathiasen (representing United States); Mr. Maximo Torero (representing Peru, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay); Mr. Hervé de Villeroché (representing France); and Mr. Patrizio Pagano (representing Italy, Albania, Greece, Malta, Portugal, San Marino, Timor-Leste).

Media Contacts
In Washington
Elena Karaban
Tel : +1 (202) 473-9277
ekaraban@worldbank.org
In Kosovo
Lundrim Aliu
Tel : +381-38-224-454 -1107
laliu1@worldbank.org

PRESS RELEASE NO:
2017/ECA/100

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