The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is ready to start lending to the U.N.-run southern Serbian province of Kosovo with focus on private sector development, the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) said on Wednesday.
"EBRD will provide loans to or invest in small and medium sized enterprises, as well as publicly and socially owned enterprises," UNMIK said in a statement after signing a memorandum of understanding with the EBRD.
The memorandum establishes the EBRD's status of an international financial institution under the applicable law in Kosovo, the statement said.
"Projects must be low risk, highly profitable, and with strong cash flow in order to be eligible for funding," UNMIK said.
The Bank will also offer technical assistance for the reconstruction and development of Kosovo's infrastructure, including environmental programmes, and for the transition of the province to market oriented economy.
Kosovo, a Serbian province of two million people, is legally part of the loose union of Serbia and Montenegro, which succeeded rump Yugoslavia in 2003. The province was put under United Nations administration after NATO bombed Serbia in 1999 to halt the Serb repression of the ethnic Albanian majority in Kosovo.