The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending €25 million to projects promoted by small and medium-sized enterprises in Azerbaijan. The first-ever EIB loan in the country will be intermediated by AccessBank, Azerbaijan’s leading provider of finance to SMEs.
The operation will support the development of the private sector, with the goal of contributing to job creation and an increase in the living standards.
“SMEs are the backbone of the economy and a major focus for the EIB. It is therefore logical that our first-ever loan in Azerbaijan is for this purpose,” said Wilhelm Molterer, EIB Vice President, who signed the loan with Michael Hoffmann, Chairman of the Management Board of AccessBank. “We appreciate the professionalism of AccessBank, which makes the Bank an excellent partner for the EIB in Azerbaijan,” he added.
Michael Hoffmann stated: “This is a very important project for AccessBank. We strongly appreciate the support of the EIB providing this large scale SME loan to AccessBank. At the same time we are proud that such a highly reputable financial institution as EIB has selected us as their partner in its first lending operation in Azerbaijan. The funds will make a significant contribution to the Bank’s SME lending activities which are directed at supporting the expansion of the dynamically developing SME sector of the country.”
The loan corresponds to the objectives of the EIB’s mandate for lending outside the EU, which focuses on the development of the local private sector, in particular support to SMEs, social and economic infrastructure and climate change mitigation and adaptation. The Framework Agreement between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the EIB entered into force on 15 January 2014, enabling the EIB to commence lending operations in the country.