>@EIB/To be defined

The European Investment Bank has agreed to provide EUR 8m to the Banque de Tahiti to support long-term financing of eligible investment projects by small and medium sized companies in French Polynesia. Support from the European Investment Bank, Europe’s long-term lending institution, will be matched by the Banque de Tahiti. The loan agreement was signed in Papéete by Pim van Ballekom, European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for lending in the Pacific and Patrice Tépélian, Director General from Banque de Tahiti.

“Ensuring access to finance by small business and encouraging economic diversification is crucial for economic development in the Pacific. The European Investment Bank is pleased to work closely with Banque de Tahiti to support small business growth in French Polynesia.” said Pim van Ballekom, European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for lending in the Pacific.

“Economic cooperation and close partnership between the Banque de Tahiti and European Investment Bank demonstrates the long-term support for investment by Polynesians, be they individual entrepreneurs or companies with simple, or more ambitious local or international plans. The Banque de Tahiti provides solutions adapted to client needs and reflecting their ambitions. The Banque de Tahiti is there to support all levels of investment” said Patrice Tépélian, Director-General, Banque de Tahiti.

The European Investment Bank’s engagement is expected to boost the creation of new jobs in French Polynesia by small and medium sized companies, as well as support the territory’s established strategy for economic diversification and growth. A strong pipeline of eligible projects has already been identified in the renewable energy, health and education, transport and environment sectors.

Companies taking an investment loan from the Banque de Tahiti backed from the EIB lending will benefit from favourable conditions. Investment projects carried out by final beneficiaries will follow the EIBs overall standards.

Improving access to term finance under favourable conditions, the operation will support French Polynesia's strategy for enhancing economic growth and employment through the financing of small and medium scale productive investments in eligible sectors. Projects will be carried out by the final beneficiaries in line with the conditions for the implementation of the EIB Global Loans. Commercially-run public sector companies in French Polynesia will also be eligible under the scheme.

The Banque de Tahiti is one of the largest banks in French Polynesia, alongside Socredo and Banque de Polynésie, both existing European Investment Bank partners.

Since 1980 the European Investment Bank has provided EUR 79m for projects in French Polynesia. In recent years, the Bank has provided a total amount of EUR 25m as lines of credits to financial intermediaries including Banque de Polynésie and Socredo. The vast majority of this amount has been provided as environmental lines of credits for the financing of private sector projects in the renewable energy, energy efficiency, environmental and waste treatment sectors.

Over the last decade the European Investment Bank has provided more than EUR 110m for projects in the Pacific and operates in the region under a dedicated Africa, Caribbean, Pacific mandate.