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The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Republic of Bulgaria have signed a Memorandum of Understanding setting out their cooperation in the context of theEuropean Investment Advisory Hub (EIAH), which will support Bulgaria’s establishment of an Advisory Platform to strengthen advisory support to local project promoters and public authorities.

Local presence is what we strive for. Being closer to the client helps us better serve customers’ needs. In this case we are reinforcing our presence in Bulgaria to help develop viable projects, with the ultimate aim of boosting investment,” said EIB Vice-President Vazil Hudák, in charge of EIB Advisory Services and lending operations in Bulgaria.

European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: "Broadening the network of advisory services available to support project promoters is a key feature of our proposal to extend and strengthen the EFSI. The Commission welcomes today's agreement in Luxembourg as another positive step in the EIB's efforts to expand its local outreach in Member States, which should allow it to further leverage local knowledge to facilitate investment in Bulgaria."

Bulgarian entrepreneurs are very active and imaginative. There are numerous project ideas in the country. The soon-to-be-established platform should facilitate the process of transforming these ideas into mature investment projects”, said the Bulgarian Deputy Minister of finance Marinela Petrova.

The Advisory Platform, which is planned to be established with the EIB support by end-March 2017, aims at supporting project promoters in the identification, preparation, structuring and implementation of strategic projects. The Platform will focus in particular on SMEs and mid-caps addressing companies’ difficulties in scaling up and supporting their access to relevant financial instruments.

Cooperation between the EIAH and Bulgaria started at the end of 2015 with the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Bulgarian Development Bank as a partner of the EIAH network of National Promotional Institutions. The EIB already delivers a number of advisory services in Bulgaria, particularly supporting the preparation and implementation of projects and financial instruments co-financed by the EU funds. 

The European Investment Advisory Hub is a joint initiative of the European Commission and the European Investment Bank under the Investment Plan for Europe. The Hub provides access to a number of advisory and technical assistance programmes and initiatives, also through its network of partner institutions. Project promoters, public authorities and private companies can receive technical support to help get their projects off the ground, make them investment-ready, gain advice on suitable funding sources, and access a unique range of technical and financial expertise.

In order to enhance the Investment Plan going forward, the Commission has proposed to strengthen local provision of support through the Advisory Hub and to provide targeted local assistance across the EU. Today’s announcement demonstrates how this approach is being put into action.