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21/06/10 18:43
The European Investor Outreach Program (EIOP)

The European Investor Outreach Program has been established by the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), part of the World Bank Group, with the aim of promoting foreign direct investment in the Western Balkans.

To accomplish this target the program will on one hand highlight the business potential of the target region (Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia and Serbia & Montenegro) to investors from Western Europe. On the other hand it will facilitate investors in realizing their investments in the Western Balkans.

The program has been setup with the financial support of the Austrian Ministry of Finance for an initial period of two and a half years. A project office has been established in Vienna, which delivers its services to potential investors free of charge:

Information Services

One major obstacle preventing investors from investing into the Western Balkans is the lack of relevant, sector-specific information about the target region.

To tackle this hurdle, EIOP has submitted a benchmarking study covering selected sectors in the target region. The study will generate the kind of information investors need when making site selection decisions.

The findings of this study will be available during the 2nd quarter of 2005 in the form of sector briefs for the selected sectors. The briefs will contain detailed, country-specific cost and conditions information. EIOP will present these findings to potential investors free of charge.

Moreover, EIOP can assist potential investors in identifying the optimum site location within the region.

Facilitation Services

EIOP offers a number of "facilitation" services to help potential investors in making their investments into the target region a success:
  • Network of contacts in the target region: EIOP can draw upon a network of high quality contacts in all the countries of the target region. EIOP uses this network to ensure that the needs of a potential investor are fully understood by politicians on national and local level.

    Moreover EIOP cooperates closely with the local investment promotion agencies and other entities that facilitate foreign investment in order to ensure a high level of local support for potential investors.

  • Assistance in risk mitigation tools: via its extensive network of contacts to national and international (MIGA) providers of political and commercial risk insurance, EIOP can provide potential investors with access to risk mitigation tools.

  • Assistance in Financing: EIOP can introduce potential investors to additional sources of finance. The program links companies to national as well as international (EBRD, EIB) providers of finance and to partner organizations of the World Bank Group (IBRD, IFC).
For additional information about the program, please contact:

Dermot Coffey
Facility Manager
European Investor Outreach Program
Strauchgasse 3
A - 1014 Wien

Tel: +43(1) 535 53 82 - 2115
Fax: +43(1) 535 53 82 - 5115

Background information: The Western Balkans

The Western Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia and Serbia &Montenegro) have undertaken significant political, legal and macroeconomic reforms since the 1990΄s to improve their investment climate. They have created new institutions and programs in order to support the reform agenda, to market their countries as investment locations and to assist investors seeking to establish new business operations.

Despite these changes, levels of foreign direct investment (FDI) significantly lag behind those in Central Europe, and investors perceptions seem to still be focused on the past conflicts within the region.

There is also a lack of detailed, sector-specific information on operating costs and conditions which investors need when making site location decisions. As a result, investors may not consider promising locations in the Western Balkans when shortlisting prospective sites for new business operations.

Under the Program, the European Investor Outreach Facility will commission a comprehensive international benchmarking study designed to generate the detailed, country-specific cost and conditions information that is typically required by investors in their site selection process. This information will then be distributed to potential investors free of charge.

Background information: Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)

The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency MIGA was founded in 1988 as a part of the World Bank Group. Austria joined the MIGA convention in 1997.

MIGA provides political risk insurance for investments in its developing country members. Moreover MIGA provides technical assistance in the area of investment promotion to these countries.

The total volume of guarantees issued by MIGA accumulates to $ 12,8 billion in 85 countries of the world. The agency has thus facilitated an estimated volume of $ 50 billion of investments.

To download the brochure of EIOP click here (File type: .pdf, Size: 428 KB)