The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing a EUR 50 million loan to the Republic of Maldives to finance infrastructure, tourism installations and environmental and disaster prevention facilities.

The loan was signed by Hon. Qasim Ibrahim, Maldives Minister of Finance, and by Mr. Jean Louis Biancarelli, EIB Director General for lending outside the European Union.

In order to support the rapid rehabilitation, replacement or reconstruction of tourism sector related facilities, EIB funds will finance up to 75% of the total investment of each project. Tourism plays a major role in the economy of Maldives and restoration of this activity is crucial to the country's development.

The funds will be channeled through the Bank of Maldives, a state-owned bank and the only operating national bank. The long-term funding offered by the EIB is not available in the local financial market.

This is the first EIB loan in Maldives, following the decision of the Council - of European Union Ministers - to include the country within the group of (now) 36 countries of Asia and Latin America where the EIB may finance investment.