John Jovanovic, Director of the Permanent Office of the International Finance Corporation (DFC) of the United States, based in Belgrade stated in an interview for Monitor that the role of the United States of America (USA) as a catalyst for national economic development and increased cooperation between the Western Balkan countries is expected to increase significantly.
Following the signing of the Serbia-Kosovo agreement, approved by the White House on September 4, 2020, the US government is prioritizing the Western Balkans. The International Financial Development Corporation (DFC), the United States Development Bank, opened regional offices in Belgrade in September.
Mr. John Jovanovic talked about DFC plans and funding opportunities for major projects, combined with attracting US private investment to the region. For Albania, Mr. Jovanovic says the focus will be on energy.
"In Albania, DFC plans to help bring in private investment, with the aim of expanding and stabilizing renewable energy in the future and help you become a regional leader in sustainable energy production. There are two major projects being targeted. First is the construction of the Skavica hydropower plant, for which a memorandum of understanding has been signed with the Albanian government. The second project is related to the return of the Vlora gas power plant. A specific project that we are supporting in Albania is the plan to turn Vlora into a natural gas power plant, enabled by the supply of gas from the United States,"he said.
Mr. Jovanovic adds that the best way for the region to overcome the crisis caused by COVID-19 is through increased cooperation between them.