ZAGREB (Croatia), January 13 (SeeNews) - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said on Monday it will lend up to 100 million euro ($111.2 million) to Erste Bank Croatia, to be used as a credit line for private hospitality companies to boost tourism in Croatia and Montenegro.
The framework aims to improve employment opportunities for the youth and women by training young people and establishing new or enhanced cooperation programmes with local universities or vocational schools, as well as strengthen the development of backward linkages to local suppliers in the hospitality sector by coordinating relevant stakeholders, EBRD said in a press release.
The loan is provided through EBRD's Inclusive Tourism Framework for the Eastern Mediterranean region. Erste Bank Croatia is the first financial institution to receive a loan under the framework, the EBRD noted.
"Tourism is a major driver of growth in both countries and we expect this investment to open up new opportunities for local businesses as well as create new jobs," EBRD president Suma Chakrabarti said. "It demonstrates how our new framework will enable the EBRD to reach out to more clients, including smaller ones."
Erste Bank Croatia is the third-largest bank in the country where it has 128 branches. Its Montenegrin subsidiary, Erste Bank Podgorica, has 17 branches.
($ = 0.899041 euro)