>@EIB/To be defined

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank, today opened the first permanent presence of Europe’s long-term lending institution in the Netherlands. The new Amsterdam office will allow closer interaction between the world’s largest supranational lending institution and Dutch businesses and public sector organisations. This week the EIB has agreed to provide more than EUR 1 billion for new investment in the Netherlands.

“This office is good news for the Dutch economy. For more than 45 years the EIB, owned by all EU member states, has clearly demonstrated the benefits of European economic cooperation. Here in the Netherlands, the gateway to Europe, we have benefited from support for investment in projects such as the Second Maasvlaakte, our motorway network, the new Polderbaan runway and luggage transfer system at Schiphol Airport. I personally recognise the particular importance of EIB support for innovative SMEs in close cooperation with Dutch banks. From the 7 billion euros provided by the EIB for investment in the Netherlands 40% has benefited local SMEs. I wish to welcome the EIB to their new home in Amsterdam.” said Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands.

“The European Investment Bank is committed to supporting long-term investment across Europe and strengthening our engagement in the Netherlands through our new permanent presence in the country in Amsterdam. This will ensure that businesses and public bodies across the country can get in touch with the EIB to discuss investment opportunities and needs more easily. The strengthened cooperation will help to unlock economic investment, create jobs and improve crucial infrastructure that builds on the strengths of the Dutch economy and addresses investment gaps. Support for projects such as the new Holland Particle Therapy Centre that will use the latest innovation to improve both treatment and research of cancer truly demonstrate the added value the EU bank can bring to the Netherlands” said European Investment Bank President Werner Hoyer.

Prior to the official opening of the new European Investment Bank Group office in Amsterdam-Zuid, to be headed by Johan-Willem Löhr, significant new investment by the European Investment Bank totalling more than EUR 1 billion was formally agreed. This will support new healthcare and renewable energy infrastructure, as well as SME lending in the Netherlands.

The European Investment Bank will provide EUR 90 million for the new Holland Particle Therapy Centre, to provide specialist cancer research and treatment for the first time in the Netherlands. This is being jointly developed by Delft University, as well as Rotterdam and Leiden Medical Centres, will provide the latest treatment for more than 600 patients a year. Proton therapy seeks to reduce harmful side effects of traditional cancer treatment. Research carried out by the new centre will be shared with researchers around the world to improve medical understanding and effective treatment.

To support investment by SMEs across the Netherlands the EIB will provide EUR 350m to ABN-AMRO under a new lending programme to provide loans to Dutch small and medium-sized enterprises.  This will allow additional opportunities for these companies to borrow money at an attractive rate. The new cooperation marks the third time that ABN AMRO and the European Investment Bank have worked together to support investment by Dutch SMEs and the largest ever lending partnership between the two banks. The second loan amounted EUR 150 million and the last loans from this previous partnership to lend to SME clients were provided in January 2014.

Hans Hanegraaf, Managing Director Business Banking at ABN AMRO: “We are very happy that the EIB will provide us with this funding once again. It is important that SME’s have access to different sorts of credit facilities to finance their business plans. The EIB loan is an excellent option for our clients.”

Pim van Ballekom, European Investment Bank Vice President said: “Enabling continued investment by entrepreneurs across the Netherlands is essential to allow SME’s to benefit from new business opportunities, expand current activities and create jobs. The European Investment Bank is committed to working with local banks to support SME investment across Europe. We welcome the opportunity to continue this engagement with ABN and build on the success of previous support for lending that has enabled new investment by companies across the Netherlands that builds on the diverse strengths of Dutch SME’s.”

The third Dutch investment to be supported by the EIB this week is the world’s largest wind farm, Gemini, to be constructed 85km north of the Dutch coast. The EIB will provide EUR 587 million for the project that when complete will provide enough green energy to cater for the needs of 1.5 million people, equivalent to the population of the three northern Dutch provinces.

Last year the European Investment Bank provided EUR 1.3bn in long-term low-cost loans for key investment in projects in the Netherlands. This engagement covered a range of sectors including education, energy, transport, healthcare and corporate research and development, as well as support or small business investment in cooperation with leading banks.

The EIB works closely with public authorities and the private sector to ensure an effective involvement and support investment in sectors facing a financing gap or where low-cost long-term finance can be beneficial. The EIB anticipates significantly increasing its activity in the Netherlands for 2014 and beyond, with a particularly encouraging pipeline, for example through project finance support for strategic infrastructure and renewable energy.