At the European Investment Bank’s (EIB) annual meeting, President Werner Hoyer underlined the Bank’s important role in supporting sustainable growth, innovation and jobs in Europe and beyond. In 2011 the EIB provided its highest-ever financial contribution to the real economy with 60 billion Euro disbursed to its clients. At the end of last year, the Bank’s outstanding loans amounted to around 395 billion Euro, more than the loan portfolio of all other multilateral financial institutions combined.

Around 13 billion Euro went to small and medium sized enterprises while some 18 billion Euro were invested in projects aimed at reducing carbon emissions and supporting the EU’s global role in fighting climate change.

With around 10 billion Euro the EIB supported the so-called “knowledge triangle” of research, innovation and education. “These areas are absolutely essential for creating a modern economy and key elements of any growth strategy”, said EIB-President Werner Hoyer.

In 2011, the EIB – the world’s largest supranational bond issuer - raised 76 billion Euro, almost half of it (46%) with non-European investors, which shows the continued trust and confidence in the EIB and in Europe. Regarding the overall slowdown of investment activity in Europe, Hoyer said “This has once again highlighted the importance of public lenders such as the EIB.”

The EIB will continue to concentrate its action on projects and sectors that make a significant contribution to Europe’s competitiveness. “Lending to SMEs is clearly a priority for us”, Hoyer said.

The EIB is the Bank of its 27 shareholders, the EU Member States, and considers it important to operate in all markets to finance sound and viable projects contributing to the future of Europe.

Statement by Dr. Werner Hoyer, EIB President