The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed two finance contracts totalling EUR 50 million in Serbia with Crédit Agricole Group in support of the projects of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as infrastructure schemes promoted by local authorities. The loan is aimed at assisting Serbia in its efforts to integrate into the European Union.

“The bank of the European Union continues in its support activities to Serbia in the path towards EU accession and rapid, complete integration into the Union. The two contracts signed with Crédit Agricole will improve the access of Serbian SMEs to long-term financing provided on favourable terms, with positive effects on job market and social environment” said Dario Scannapieco, the EIB Vice-President responsible for the Western Balkans, “and I am really pleased for our cooperation with the Serbian authorities and Crédit Agricole Group”.

The EIB loan will finance the projects of SMEs and medium-sized companies promoted by local authorities and final beneficiaries in the areas of knowledge economy, energy, environment protection, industry, health, education and services. A minimum of 70% of the loan amount will be allocated to SMEs and mid-cap projects. In the current environment, the operation will increase the availability of funding for SMEs, key drivers of economic and social progress in Serbia, with a reduction of overall financing costs.

In details, the loan will be managed by Crédit Agricole Srbija Novi Sad for EUR 45 million (with a mid-cap tranche up to EUR 15 million) and by Crédit Agricole Leasing Srbija Beograd for EUR 5 million.