The EIB today officially inaugurated its regional Office in Helsinki. The new EIB Office, located at the headquarters of the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB), aims to enhance the EIB’s presence in the Baltic Sea region. This initiative builds upon the excellent relationship between NIB and EIB, between whom cooperation has already taken many forms, including the co-financing of key projects (e.g. the E18 Muurla-Lohja PPP project in Finland in 2005) and both banks are members of the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership.

The principal operational role of the new Office is to develop further the EIB’s activities in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Easier access from the EIB’s new Helsinki base should facilitate the identification of projects and ensure greater coverage of priority sectors for the Bank. The EIB has been active in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania since 1993, with funding channelled mainly to the transport and energy sectors as well as to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

In addition the Office will liaise with governmental authorities in the region as well as with various Baltic Sea Region organisations.

The EIB’s regional Office in Helsinki was inaugurated by Tom Hackett, EIB Director General for Operations in the EU and Candidate Countries, in the presence of NIB’s President Johnny Ǻkerholm.

Jaani Pietikäinen has been appointed Head of the new Helsinki Office. He will report to Michael O’Halloran, Head of Division for Lending in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden and EFTA countries, based at the EIB’s headquarters in Luxembourg.

Note for the editor:

The European Investment Bank Group, the banking group promoting European objectives, finances capital investment aimed at modernising the economies of the Member States and of the countries close to the Union.

In 2006, the European Investment Bank lent a total of EUR 45.8bn for projects promoting the European Union’s policy objectives. Finance for the then EU-25 Member States represented 87% of its activities and amounted to EUR 39.8bn. To fund its activities, the EIB raised an aggregate amount of EUR 48bn on the international capital markets through 303 bond issues in 24 currencies. Owned by the Member States, the EIB (with its AAA rating) is the largest supranational issuer.

This was the first full year in which the new strategy decided by the EIB’s Governors in June 2005 was implemented: a qualitative strategy based on investment and financial innovation. This strategy consists of:

  • strengthening the leverage of the EIB’s operations;
  • concentrating its financing within the Union on six European priorities;
  • fostering economic convergence between the Union and its partner countries.