The European Investment Bank will continue to provide massive support for the Romanian economy.
The European Investment Bank Group
is tripling its support for Romanian companies from 500 million euros to 1.38
billion euros. The bank's vice-president Andrew McDowell said on Thursday that
5,000 Romanian SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) would benefit as a
result. The Group has been working in Romania for 25 years, and during this
time it has provided funding of around 15 billion euros for 300 different
projects, McDowell also said. He explained that in the last five years, the
bank's investments in Romania had gone up to reach an average funding level of
1 billion euros a year, with a third of this amount being for SMEs, while this
year the amount of funding is likely to exceed 1 billion euros.
The Initiative for
SMEs combines structural funds with other resources of the European Union and
the European Investment Bank to provide loans for 5,000 SMEs and thus
contribute to the creation of jobs that are much needed in the private sector.
The bank's vice-president also emphasised that the European Investment Bank
Group provides not only funding but also consultancy for the preparation and
implementation of complex projects. He recalled the support given in the
healthcare sector, where the European Investment Bank has provided the
feasibility studies for regional hospital projects in Iasi (in the north-east),
Craiova (in the south) and Cluj (in the north-west), and is now supporting the
preparation of the application for structural funds.
The vice-president of the European
Investment Bank Andrew McDowell also participated in the signing of new
contracts with financial intermediaries, namely banks from Romania, aimed at
increasing the amount of funding. These new contracts will contribute,
alongside the existing ones, to supporting SMEs and start-ups that need financing.
According to the European Investment Bank, the agreements with these financial
institutions aim to facilitate Romanian companies' access to funding through
60% guarantees for each loan and by decreasing the interest rates charged by
banks. Following the successful implementation of the Initiative for SMEs in
Romania, the Romanian authorities have allocated an additional 150 million
euros from the Regional Operational Programme to reach an available budget of 250
The Romanian finance minister Eugen Teodorovici said more than
2,000 Romanian SMEs have benefited from this Initiative, with 500 million euros
having already been allocated. The ambition of the Bucharest authorities is for
SMEs to become the backbone of the economy. He also said he wished Romania
followed Germany's example, where SMEs make up 68% of the country's exports.