The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending EUR 30 million to finance projects implemented by small and medium-sized enterprises and local authorities in Montenegro. The loan will support investments in the areas of environmental protection, rational use of energy, industry and services, including tourism, as well as projects helping to upgrade local and regional infrastructure.
This is the first EIB line of credit provided to a partner financing institution in Montenegro: Hypo Alpe-Adria-Bank AD Podgorica – a well established bank with a densely developed network of branches in the country. It will serve to further develop the SME sector in the context of the recent strong growth of the economy in Montenegro and help to meet the growing demand from the private sector for finance for productive investments. The loan can also finance infrastructure projects undertaken by local authorities.
EIB loans to partner financial institutions have been developed as a successful tool for providing long-term funding for co-financing smaller projects with total costs below EUR 25 million and up to 50% of their investment costs. They constitute credit lines to financial intermediaries that on-lend EIB funds under their own management, at their own risk and on their own terms. However, the EIB partner financing institutions are committed to sharing the financial advantage of EIB funds, provided under favourable terms, with the final beneficiaries – SMEs and local authorities.
The mission of the EIB, the European Union’s long-term financing institution, is to contribute to the integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion of the Member States by financing sound investment. Outside the Union, the EIB implements the financial components of agreements concluded under European development aid and cooperation policies.
EIB financing helps Montenegro to meet the EU accession criteria and harmonise with the economic development of the EU. Since 2000, the EIB has provided some EUR 80 million to Montenegro for the benefit of transport and energy projects. Additional EIB loans for these sectors as well as for environmental protection for a total amount of some EUR 160 million are expected to be implemented over the next few years.