The EBRD is hosting a series of regional seminars ahead of
its 2005 Annual Meeting in Belgrade to engage countries from
the western Balkans and beyond in dialogue that will benefit
the wider region.
The Banks Secretary General Johnny
Åkerholm arrives in Serbia and Montenegro today to
meet with senior government officials, including
Serbias Finance Minister Mladjan Dinkic in Belgrade
and Igor Luksic, Minister of Finance for Montenegro, in
Podgorica. He will also meet with Predrag Ivanovic´,
Minister for International Economic Relations for Serbia and
Montenegro and Nenad Bogdanovic, Mayor of the City of Belgrade.
During his meetings Mr Åkerholm will brief officials
of the seminars in more detail, reiterate the Banks
commitment to working with the authorities to ensure the
success of the Annual Meeting, and emphasise its importance for
Serbia and Montenegro and its neighbours.
The visit comes on the eve of the first of the two-day
seminars, which runs 8-9 November in Zagreb, Croatia, and will
focus on the development of municipalities across the country.
Other seminars will tackle the subjects of transport (Bosnia
and Herzegovina, 2-3 December), energy (Albania, February
2005), and privatisations (FYR Macedonia, March 2005).
The seminars will focus on key issues affecting these
countries, said Mr Åkerholm, as well as addressing the
regional dimension, which is crucial for the prosperity of
these countries. The seminars will bring together prime
ministers, finance ministers, mayors, business leaders and
experts in relevant fields to see how best to develop these
core sectors and overcome obstacles to investment.
Just two months after hosting the final seminar, the EBRD
will hold its 14th Annual Meeting on 22-23 May 2005 in
Belgrade, Mr Åkerholm added. It will be an occasion to
draw the worlds attention to the region, with more
than 2,500 guests expected, including investors, business
leaders, politicians, non-governmental organisations and