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EU, EBRD to co-finance 105 mln euro programme to support tourism in Albania

EU, EBRD to co-finance 105 mln euro programme to support tourism in Albania From the left, EBRD president Suma Chakrabarti, Albania's prime minister Edi Rama, EU ambassador Luigi Soreca/Photo: EU/All Rights Reserved

TIRANA (Albania), May 6 (SeeNews) – The European Union and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will co-finance a 105 million euro ($117.6) five-year programme to support the development of Albania's tourism sector, the EU delegation to the country said.

The EU will offer a 40 million euro grant for the programme, while EBRD will make available additional resources of up to 60 million euro under sovereign guarantee and 5 million euro for small loans to small and medium enterprises (SME) via local financial institutions, the EU delegation said in a statement late on Friday, following a launching ceremony.

The programme aims to enhance the contribution of quality and sustainable tourism to economic growth and competitiveness in selected areas of Berat, Korca, Fier and Shkodra. The duration of the programme is 60 months (December 2018 – December 2023) with a possible extension.

“Tourism is an essential source of income and job creation in many economies and has positive effects on a wide variety of industries and services,” the EU delegation said.

Also, the project is expected to increase the attractiveness of cultural, natural and other assets for tourists and improve local sustainable development of priority infrastructures in the framework of the Albanian regional development policy.

The number of foreign nationals who visited Albania in the first quarter of 2019 rose 2.7% year-on-year to 695,027, the country's statistical office said earlier.

To date, the EBRD has invested nearly 1.3 billion euro in 87 projects in Albania.

($ = 0.89251 euro)