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PODGORICA (Montenegro), March 20 (SeeNews) – The European Investment Bank (EIB) said on Monday it has signed two loans and a grant agreement with a total value of 90 million euro ($96.8 million) to Montenegro.
The EIB agreed a 20 million euro loan to Montenegro's railway infrastructure operator Zeljeznicka Infrastruktura for the rehabilitation works along the main North-South trunk line crossing the country and a 50 million euro credit to the country's Investment and Development Fund (IDF) for the funding on advantageous financial terms of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the EIB said in a statement.
Moreover, the EIB signed a 20 million euro Western Balkan Investment Facility (WBIF) investment grant agreement to co-finance the loan to Zeljeznicka Infrastruktura, the EIB said.
"We are particularly proud today, as we have signed loans to projects which will contribute to the EIB’s Economic Resilience Initiative, the EIB Initiative launched upon the request of the European Council in June 2016 as a response to challenges of the migration crisis in the Western Balkans and the Southern Neighbourhood, by developing critical infrastructure for the resident population as well as by supporting the private sector development, through access to finance to SMEs. On the latter, the EIB has been the first external lender to IDF and we are proud of our long-standing cooperation," EIB vice-president Dario Scannapieco said in the statement.
Scannapieco met with Montenegrin prime minister Dusko Markovic, finance minister Darko Radunovic, Zeljeznicka Infrastruktura director, Milan Colakovic and Zoran Vukcevic, CEO of the Investment and Development Fund (IDF) on Monday, to discuss the further strengthening of the scope of its investments in the country.
In a separate statement on Monday, Montenegro's government said the EIB has shown interest in lending to social infrastructure projects in the country, such as the construction of hospitals and schools through public-private partnerships.
Since 2010, the EIB has financed nearly 30 projects in Montenegro, for a total financing some 300 million euro, the bank said.
($ = 0.9297 euro)