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BUCHAREST (Romania), September 17 (SeeNews) - The European Investment Bank (EIB) said on Monday it is lending Romania 450 million euro ($526 million) to finance projects within the country's Rural Development Programme (RDP).
The funds will support the modernisation of 3,000 farms and co-finance 400 projects focused on the processing and marketing of agricultural products as well as 750 schemes to improve services for the rural population, the EIB said in a press release.
The loan will partially cover the state budget contribution to a number of measures under Romania's Rural Development Programme.
"Thus the investments in agriculture and rural development will boost competitiveness and improve the rural infrastructure around the country," Romania’s finance minister Eugen Teodorovici said.
The loan agreement was signed on the margins of the meeting of the EIB board of directors taking place in Bucharest on September 17 and 18. Since June, Teodorovici is leading the EIB board of governors for a period of 12 months.
The EIB loan will co-finance rural development projects supported by EU funds totalling 5.4 billion euro across Romania.
"This will help boost the rural economy, generate new jobs and develop local enterprises, infrastructure, services and above all human resources via training and advisory support," EIB president Werner Hoyer said.
Romania's ministry of agriculture and rural development will be the promoter of the project, while public and private entities will be the final beneficiaries of the loan.
"Over recent years, the EIB’s activities in Romania have continuously grown, reaching over 1.3 billion euro worth of signatures in 2017 and increasing by 27% compared to 2016. This brings the total EIB lending volume in Romania to some 3.7 billion euro over the past five years (2013–2017)," EIB vice-president Andrew McDowell said.
This is the second EIB operation supporting Romania’s rural development. The previous one, a loan of 300 million euro for Romania’s 2007-2013 RDP, has been fully disbursed and benefited some 900 village infrastructure projects, 4,000 farmers, as well as agri-food and forestry small and medium sized enterprises.
($ =0.8544 euro)