>@EIB/Jiří Štarha

The European Investment Bank (EIB) Group today inaugurated its office in Prague in a ceremony attended by the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the Czech Republic, Andrej Babiš, EU Commissioner Věra Jourová and representatives from the Czech business community and public sector, thus establishing a local presence in the Czech Republic. The Head of the EIB Office in Prague is Mrs. Hana Kaloudová.

The move is part of the EU bank’s plan to boost its presence on the ground in Europe and beyond in order to promote business and policy dialogue. It currently has offices in 19 EU Member States and 19 countries outside the EU.

The EIB also signed a loan contract of EUR 95 million with Komerční Banka to finance projects developed by SMEs and Mid-Cap companies with the aim of supporting youth employment.  

EIB President Werner Hoyer, who inaugurated the EIB Group Office, commented: “The office will help us intensify our contacts with public and private promoters, develop market proximity, increase even further our delivery capacity on the lending side and strengthen our technical and financial advisory offer. With our tailor-made, long tenor loans we can add value in the Czech Republic in a number of important sectors, including key infrastructure, education and RDI.” 

The contract signed today with Komerční Banka will help to improve the access of SMEs and Mid-Cap companies to long-term financing and improve the conditions for fighting youth unemployment. The EIB’s total lending commitment in the Czech Republic is EUR 18.4 billion.

EIB Vice-President László Baranyay, responsible for lending activities in Central Europe, stated:  “The EIB loan is designed to help improve the situation of unemployed young people in the Czech Republic, providing them with better job prospects. At the same time it will strengthen the position of the SME and Mid-Cap sector, which is the engine of the Czech economy in terms of economic growth and the creation of new job opportunities.”

Around 80% of the EUR 95 million loan to Komerční Banka will be allocated under the Jobs for Youth Initiative to support KB’s lending to those SMEs and Mid-Caps that contribute to youth employment by hiring people under the age of 29, offering vocational training programmes or internships or cooperating with a technical college, school or university.