On 16 March 2007, the European Investment Bank will host a conference marking its 20th anniversary in Portugal, bringing together more than 300 representatives at the highest level from government, companies and banks from Portugal and beyond.

The conference, which is on invitation only, will be opened by EIB President Philippe Maystadt and Prime Minister José Sócrates and feature key note speeches by Fernando Teixeira dos Santos, Minister of Finance, and Mário Lino, Minister of Public Works.

The EIB event will set off by demonstrating the long-term economic benefits of infrastructure investment, one of the core sectors of the Bank's activity. The second part of the programme will offer participants a platform on which to explore the needs and opportunities for investment in research, development and innovation, leading the country's economy into the 21st century.

Journalists are invited to attend the conference, which begins at 9:30 a.m.