The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD) are once again joining forces to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and their investments in Portugal.

The European Investment Bank is making a EUR 300 million line of credit available for Caixa Geral de Depósitos to provide small and medium-sized businesses with credit on preferential terms. Caixa Geral de Depósitos will complement the loan with a further EUR 300 million for financing the projects targeted, bringing the total amount made available to SMEs and midcaps to EUR 600 million.

The loan contract was signed in Lisbon today by Román Escolano, EIB Vice-President, and by José de Matos, CGD Executive President.

The EIB loan will finance projects in the areas of industry, tourism and services, environment, human capital, research and development and agriculture. The loan may also be used for projects promoted by municipalities or for projects that benefit from the InnovFin SME guarantee of the European Investment Fund. Most of these projects will be located in convergence areas of Portugal. The loan will contribute to strengthening the productivity and competitiveness of SMEs and employment in Portugal.

Financing small businesses is one of the EIB’s investment priorities. Last year alone, the EIB and its subsidiary the European Investment Fund provided a record amount of around EUR 22 billion for SMEs and midcaps, benefiting some 230 000 companies across Europe. In Portugal, it made available EUR 595 million in 2013 for new credit lines designed to finance the investment projects of SMEs and midcaps.