The European Investment Bank (EIB) and twelve bilateral development finance institutions(1) from the European Union Member States, which are members of EDFI (Association of European Development Finance Institutions) signed an agreement in Edinburgh today to strengthen co-operation in financing projects in the Mediterranean region.
The Letter of Intent agreement covers the sharing of information and cofinancing arrangements for projects in the Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPCs). EIB's activities in the MPCs are managed through its Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP).
EIB Vice President in charge of FEMIP, Philippe de Fontaine Vive said: This agreement widens the framework under which FEMIP operates. Co-operation with the EDFI members will strengthen the EU's support for economic development in the partner countries in the Mediterranean. The agreement is important as it identifies new ways to develop financial cooperation on the basis of our comparative advantages. It will avoid duplication of resources and maximise the impact of EU Member States activities in the region. Formalising this agreement today is timely, as 2005 has been designated Year of the Mediterranean and marks the tenth anniversary of the Barcelona Declaration on Euro-Mediterranean co-operation.
FEMIP's activities have evolved considerably in the last two years, both quantitatively and qualitatively. It has lent a total of some EUR 4.5 billion for investment, encouraging economic development in the region. Features include the introduction of new financing instruments and new forms of assistance, the opening of offices in the field and the formalisation of an active dialogue between European and Mediterranean partners on domestic policy reforms and FEMIP's lending.
EDFI Chairman, Dr. Winfried Polte, expressed satisfaction with the signing of the Letter of Intent, an important event for the start of extended co-operation between EDFI members and the EIB in the Mediterranean Partner Countries. EDFI members have a consolidated portfolio of EUR 750 million invested in private sector enterprises in this region at the end of 2004.
The Letter of Intent, signed at the annual general meeting of EDFI, outlines ways in which financial and non-financial cooperation can take place between the EIB and the twelve EDFI members to:
- promote joint financing of projects and programmes within private sector development;
- strengthen further EIB-EDFI coordination to ensure complementarity, cohesion and coordination and promote joint activities;
- promote joint technical work and policy dialogue and to enhance the link between analysis, policy and investment initiatives at all levels.
The formalisation of the EIB-EDFI cooperation in the MPCs complements the existing EDFI-EIB Framework Agreement on Financial Cooperation, which was signed in January 2003 and has so far been mainly translated into concrete actions for the ACP countries.
(1) AWS, AUSTRIA WIRTSCHAFTSSERVICE GESELLSCHAFT M.B.H.; BIO, BELGIAN INVESTMENT COMPANY FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES; CDC GROUP PLC; COFIDES, COMPAÑIA ESPAÑOLA DE FINANCIACIÓN DEL DESARROLLO,COFIDES, S.A ; DEG, DEUTSCHE INVESTITIONS- UND ENTWICKLUNGSGESELLSCHAFT MBH; FINNFUND, FINNISH FUND FOR INDUSTRIAL COOPERATION LTD.; FMO-NEDERLANDSE FINANCIERINGS-MAATSCHAPPIJ VOOR ONTWIKKELINGSLANDEN N.V.; IFU, THE INDUSTRIALISATION FUND FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES; PROPARCO, SOCIÉTÉ DE PROMOTION ET DE PARTICIPATION POUR LA COOPÉRATION ÉCONOMIQUE S.A. SBI, SOCIÉTÉ BELGE D'INVESTISSEMENT INTERNATIONAL, S.A BMI, BELGISCHE MAATSCHAPPIJ VOOR INTERNATIONALE INVESTERING N.V.; SIMEST, SOCIETÀ ITALIANA PER LE IMPRESE ALL'ESTERO SP.A.; SWEDFUND INTERNATIONAL AKTIEBOLAG;