The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (Miga), a member of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement with the European Agency for Reconstruction (EAR) to help Serbia promote itself as an increasingly attractive destination for foreign direct investment.


Under the agreement, EAR will provide €
4.5mn in funding to cover three primary areas of operation, to be administered by Miga:


  •  Institutional development and capacity building for the Serbian Investment and Export Promotion Agency and other Serbian investment intermediaries, focused on staff skills development, coaching and mentoring, and strategy and business plan development.


  •  Implementation of a broad-based investment promotion and outreach programme for Serbia, focused on image-building, lead generation, preparation of target-sector promotion materials (eg, in the electronics, automotive, and information technology sectors), and effective use of the internet.


  •  Pilot product development, focused on the creation of industrial zones and technology parks, an accreditation and support programme for regional economic development agencies, and involvement of local businesses in the country’s FDI and export-marketing efforts.


The programme will target mainly European investors, but aims to promote awareness of investment opportunities in Serbia among investors worldwide.
“What we ‘re trying to achieve with this project is to increase the flow of FDI into the country and speed up the transition to a market economy, as a key step in the European Union accession process, and create jobs and raise in-comes through the long-term development of the private sector,” says Tessie San Martin, Miga’s head of operations.


“We are very pleased that Miga is joining us in this all-important task of attracting foreign investment into Serbia,” says Adriano Martins, head of EAR’s Belgrade office. “This is the next step in the process of enterprise development, which the European Union has been supporting in Serbia since 2001.”


Miga and EAR both have experience working with the Serbian Investment and Export Promotion Agency. Miga has provided capacity-building support to the agency over the past couple of years through the implementation of an investment promotion component under a World Bank private sector development grant to Serbia. In addition, Miga has provided more than US$400mn in guarantee coverage to foreign investors. EAR, in addition to the new investment promotion project, is currently supporting a multi-year export development programme in Serbia, as part of a wide-ranging programme funded by the EU.


“Continued support to the agency at this stage is crucial to consolidate the progress achieved under the initial World Bank project and to further strengthen the agency’s investment promotion and facilitation capability,” says San Martin.


Miga plans to build strong links between this programme and its European Investor Outreach Programme for the Western Balkans (, based in Vienna. The grant marks the largest amount of funding ever received by Miga for a single country-specific technical assistance project.