EUR 450 million for co-financing projects with EU Funds in Portugal
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending EUR 450 million to the Portuguese Republic to help meeting the objectives of the Portuguese National Strategic Reference Framework during the period 2007-2013. This is the first tranche of a total approved loan of EUR 1.5 billion, the largest loan the EIB has ever granted in Portugal.
The Portuguese Republic and the EIB have signed a EUR 450 million loan – the first tranche of a total approved loan of EUR 1.5 billion - to co-finance, jointly with European Union (EU) Funds, key investments in the country. Philippe Maystadt and Magdalena Álvarez Arza - President and Vice-President of the EIB –Fernando Teixeira dos Santos - Minister of State and Finance – and Fernando Medina – Assistant Secretary of State for Industry and Development - participated in the signatory ceremony that took place in Lisbon today.
Philippe Maystadt, EIB President, stated “this loan, earmarked to co-finance projects also supported by EU Structural Funds, will reinforce the Bank’s contribution to economic growth through financing of valuable projects. This is an important operation signalling the Bank’s commitment in assisting EU Member States in times of a challenging economic and financial environment.”
Fernando Teixeira dos Santos, Minister of State and Finance, stated “the EIB intervention in Portugal, by its amount of funding and investments’ portfolio, and taking into account the difficulties in international markets, has been having a very relevant impact, by supporting public investments and facilitating economic agents’ access to credit. I am certain that this financing will strongly contribute for the growth strategy of the country towards a more developed society.”
The EIB loan will be used by the Portuguese State to fund the national contribution to projects also supported by EU Structural Funds, in the context of the 2007-2013 National Strategic Reference Framework (NSFR). The facility will thus support investments in key infrastructures and regional assets and is expected to contribute to the country's absorption of EU Structural Funds.
The investments are grouped around selected priorities of nine Operational Programmes (OPs) co-financed with the European Regional Fund and the Cohesion Fund. The loan will be allocated to projects in the sectors of research and development, information and communication technologies, transport, water, solid waste, energy efficiency and renewable energy, urban regeneration, health, education and culture.
The loan will mainly focus on small and medium sized investment schemes of less than EUR 50 million across the country. The loan will, therefore, contribute to the balanced development of all Portuguese regions and will have a significant impact on local employment and SME activity.
This loan is part of the growing EIB lending activity in Portugal, which in 2010 is expected to reach some EUR 3.3 billion of new loans signed with numerous partners in the public sector, including municipalities.. The EIB started supporting the Portuguese economy before the country’s adhesion to the European Communities in 1986. So far EIB loans to projects in Portugal reached more than EUR 35 billion, of which EUR 8 billion in the period 2007-2009, during which lending grew by more than 150%.
The European Investment Bank is the long-term financing institution of the European Union (EU), working to further European objectives. The Bank’s financing is geared to well-defined European policies. The EIB loans contribute to economic and social cohesion, environmental protection, research and innovation, support for SMEs, the development of trans-European transport and energy networks, and sustainable, competitive energy.