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Sep 15, 2020 12:56 EEST
September 15 (SeeNews) - The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to provide a 50 million euro loan ($59.4 million) to Montenegrin small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-caps in tourism and other sectors severely affected by COVID-19, it said.
The loan, signed with the Montenegrin Investment and Development Fund (IDF), will provide immediate support for the faster recovery of the Montenegrin economy by unlocking more affordable financing for SMEs, mid-caps and public sector enterprises to sustain jobs and maintain their liquidity, the EIB said in a statement on Monday.
"SMEs and mid-caps in Montenegro have been severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. With tourism being the main driver of economic growth, the EIB will help Montenegro face these unprecedented challenges, support its main source of income, recover faster and build a more resilient economy. Our more affordable loans will support other key sectors such as trade, transport and construction," EIB Vice-President Dario Scannapieco said.
The loan is a part of the Team Europe Western Balkans COVID-19 recovery support programme, announced at the EU-Western Balkans Zagreb Summit in April. It provides affordable finance to businesses to ensure their continuity and faster and sustainable recovery from the pandemic.
"The funds in response to the COVID crisis will be used to preserve the liquidity of the economy and jobs, but also for development projects, which will contribute to the creation of new economic value in Montenegro and support the transformation of our economy towards a circular and sustainable system in the post-pandemic period that follows," IDF president Zoran Vukcevic said.
The loan is also the first allocation under the 500 million euro programme loan approved by the EIB Board of Directors in June 2020 targeting the public sector and national promotional banks in the Western Balkan region.
To date, the EIB and the IDF have signed five operations and disbursed 320 million euro to the Montenegrin economy, sustaining over 25,000 jobs.
($ = 0.841428 euro)
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