Importers and exporters across Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo will have more opportunities to finance their foreign trade business under two new €1mn trade finance lines recently granted by the EBRD to Metals Bank Serbia and Raiffeisenbank Kosovo.

In addition, the bank recently issued its first guarantee for Opportunity Bank Montenegro, covering the import of Sony TV sets in the amount of €100,000.

The financing is extended under the EBRD’s Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP), which promotes foreign trade with Eastern Europe and the CIS region. Through the programme, the bank provides guarantees to international confirming banks. The programme can guarantee any genuine trade transaction associated with exports from, or imports to, the EBRD’s countries of operations.

More than 100 issuing banks in the region participate in the programme together with around 600 confirming banks globally. Turnover exceeded €2.7bn, which has been used to finance more than 5,000 transactions.

In Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo, the EBRD has, since the start of the programme in 2001, facilitated trade through three banks in Serbia and two banks in Montenegro, financing more than 400 foreign trade transactions with exporters and importers in 34 countries.

The bank’s guarantees have covered a trade volume of €43mn, including imports of small machinery and equipment from Germany and Italy, foodstuff and textiles from Turkey and Spain or household appliances and consumer electronics from Korea and China.

The Trade Facilitation Programme in Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo is being strongly supported through risk-sharing funds provided by Austria, the Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland. Local banks participating in this programme have also benefited from the EBRD’s trade finance training and advisory services, funded by Ireland and Sweden.