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UK boosts exports and investments in the Western Balkans

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  • The UK Government will boost UK exports and investment to the Western Balkans with up to £4 billion in export finance.
  • Comes with £10 million to accelerate the region’s green transition
  • Combined support will boost prosperity and jobs across the region and the UK

At the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Western Balkans Investment Summit in London today (Monday 26 February), the UK will present a package of energy and infrastructure to boost trade and boost investment between the UK and the Western Balkans, creating jobs and supporting livelihoods across the countries.

Security Minister Tom Tugendhat will use the Lancaster House summit in London, attended by three Western Balkan prime ministers from Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo and UK business leaders, to highlight potential business opportunities In the region. Trade between the UK and the Western Balkans region was worth £4.5 billion in 2023 and is growing.

As the region seeks to decarbonise, the UK will commit an additional £4.2 million in funding to accelerate the transition away from coal and expand wind energy to help many countries in the region. region to end their dependence on Russian energy supplies, building on the £1.1 million budget. million dollars allocated last year to energy security through partners including the World Bank.

The UK Government will also commit £4 billion to boost UK exports to the region through UK Export Finance, which provides UK businesses with the guarantee they can trade abroad with confidence. This funding is already bringing tangible benefits to the region, such as the £363 million for the Morava Corridor motorway in Serbia, which will connect the industrial town of Kruševac to the important regional trade centers of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the port town of Bar, Montenegro. .

Amid growing tensions in the region, funding for the UK program will also be increased by £10 million from the next financial year to support the region’s prosperity and security – building resilience against malicious activity , interference and cyberattacks, economic development and working alongside partners to fight corruption and serious organized crime.

At the summit, Security Minister Tom Tugendhat said:

Today’s summit and additional funding announcements demonstrate the UK’s enduring commitment to the Western Balkans and the associated opportunities to boost prosperity and jobs in the UK and the region itself.

By stepping up investment today, the UK is improving the livelihoods of people in the Western Balkans, providing a longer-term solution to tackling the drivers of irregular migration, alongside the progress the UK Government has made to disrupt the work of smugglers.

On the sidelines of the summit, the Security Minister will speak with the Prime Ministers of Serbia and Kosovo and with the Prime Minister of Montenegro Milojko Spajić, he will reaffirm the UK’s support for Montenegro’s aspirations for a more inclusive democracy with a strengthened rule of law.

He will also meet Deputy Prime Minister Balluku to highlight the growing partnership between the UK and Albania which has helped to reduce small boat crossings by Albanian nationals by 90% compared to last year.

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