EIB and MBDP extend their support for SMEs in FYR of Macedonia
- EIB signs EUR 100m loan agreement with the Macedonian Bank for Development Promotion to support small and medium-sized enterprises
- This is the fifth loan of this kind since 2009 – for a total amount of EUR 450m
- Project contributes to the objectives of the Economic Resilience Initiative (ERI)
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Macedonian Bank for Development Promotion (MBDP) signed today in Skopje a EUR 100m loan to support the investment projects of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-caps in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). SMEs constitute the backbone of the country’s economy and employment.
The loan was signed by EIB Vice-President Andrew McDowell, Finance Minister Dragan Tevdovski and MBDP CEO Dragan Martinovski in the presence of FYROM Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.
“The European Investment Bank, the EU bank, will support the ambition of this government and the people of this country to raise living standards by deepening integration with the rest of Europe. That is why I am very pleased to have signed a EUR 100m low-interest loan to MBDP today in order to improve financing conditions for SMEs. This brings to EUR 450m our total support for MBDP in recent years. Our previous four loans have helped create and sustain 60,000 jobs in almost 2,000 companies across the country”, EIB Vice-President Andrew McDowell said.
Prime Minister Zaev emphasised that the EU and its financial institutions have recognised the “positive signals of the country’s economy and the trends for sustainable development”.
“Especially beneficial is the fact that, after this credit line is returned, it will be reinvested as credit in the economy again. Getting such a favourable credit line is a privilege for our country and also a confirmation of the good condition and development of the country’s economy”, PM Zaev said.
While the EUR 100m loan is primarily intended to support SMEs, it will also promote investment objectives relating to climate change (renewable energy and energy efficiency, sustainable transport) and competitiveness (innovation and skills). A minimum of 70% of the loan amount will be allocated to SMEs.
MBDP will allocate the funds through selected local commercial banks. MBDP is a financial institution fully owned by the government. Its mission is to support national economic strategies and objectives.
The EIB’s financing operations in the country serve to facilitate the processes of integration with the European Union and are aimed at helping the SME sector, which is suffering from a lack of long-term funding. In providing financial support for SMEs, the loan will reduce unemployment levels and improve the quality of life of the country’s citizens. MBDP will undertake to pass on the advantages of the EIB funding to final beneficiaries via intermediary banks through lower interest rates and longer maturities.
The project will contribute to the objectives of the Bank’s Economic Resilience Initiative (ERI), aimed at fostering a resilient economy by strengthening local economic development, generating sustainable growth and supporting employment.
The EIB has been active in FYROM since 1977. Over the past 10 years, it has invested more than EUR 670m in the country.