EBRD Boosts Retail Sector In Kosovo
By Axel Reiserer
Consumers in Kosovo will benefit from the expansion of Viva Fresh, the country’s leading retailer, with the support of €10 million(US$10.86million) in financing provided by the EBRD.
The funds will finance the roll-out of new stores domestically and in neighbouring North Macedonia, supporting the growth and development of a modern retail market in Kosovo and elsewhere in the Western Balkans region.
As part of the transaction, a comprehensive value-creation plan, supported by the Enterprise Expansion Fund (ENEF), was agreed. The plan will focus on the implementation of operational and governance improvements, with assistance from industry consultants.
The agreement between the EBRD and Viva Fresh was signed today in London during the EBRD’s Western Balkans Investment Summit 2020, which was attended by Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti.
ENEF supports small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with high-growth potential in the Western Balkans. It is part of a larger platform for SMEs, the Western Balkans Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility (WB EDIF), established jointly by the EBRD, the EU, the European Investment Fund, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft, Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank and Italy.
The EBRD has invested over €395 million in Kosovo through 65 projects since it began operations in the country in 2012. Supporting competitive development of the private sector and enhancing energy security and sustainability are key priorities for the EBRD in Kosovo.