The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted the Junta de Andalucía a EUR 217 million loan for financing investment in different sectors of Andalusia’s economy with the aim of boosting growth and job creation by means of the EU structural funds. This is the first instalment of a EUR 725 million loan that the EIB will provide to the Junta to cofinance, alongside the ERDF and European Social Fund, Andalusia’s 2014-2020 regional operational programme. The loan was signed in Seville by the EIB official in charge of public sector and infrastructure lending in Spain, Juan Basora, and the Junta de Andalucía’s Finance Minister, María Jesús Montero.

The funds provided by the EIB will be used to promote projects in strategic sectors of Andalusia’s economy, supporting the region’s SMEs in particular in order to increase their competitiveness and strengthen the small business segment as a whole. Another of the priorities of the finance agreement will be investment in sustainable transport infrastructure to improve the regional road network. Projects involving investment in education, innovation and technological development will also be targeted. The financing provided by the EIB will also foster sustainable growth by supporting investment in improving water treatment processes and promoting the use of renewable energies. The programme also includes investment in projects aimed at renovating public infrastructure and regenerating rural and urban areas, facilitating the refurbishment of housing.

The purpose of all the investments financed by this EIB loan is to contribute to the reindustrialisation of Andalusia, the internationalisation of its economy and social integration by fostering job creation and improvements in training and education. It is calculated that the investments set in train thanks to the allocation of EU funds and the provision of EIB finance will lead to the creation of some 29,000 new jobs during the implementation phase of the different projects.

At the signing ceremony, the EIB official in charge of public sector lending in Spain, Juan Basora, stressed the positive impact of this investment for the region: “Andalusia is receiving very important backing for the development of key investment for the region’s economy and job creation. The EIB loan will make it possible to support SMEs, which are crucial to wealth creation, build new facilities, promote renewable energies and step up investment in education”.

The Junta de Andalucía’s Minister of Finance and Public Administration, María Jesús Montero, stressed the importance to Andalusia of “diversifying its sources of finance”, and affirmed that “the efforts that it has been making to meet its deficit, debt and supplier payment targets are paying off and project the image of a solvent and investment-friendly region that inspires confidence in markets and financial institutions”. “Andalusia has made a major effort to balance its books in the midst of the crisis and it is now time for the citizens to start seeing the recovery in the form of the restoration of rights and the development of new investments like those made possible by today’s agreement with the EIB”, said María Jesús Montero.

This is the third EIB loan to the Junta de Andalucía for cofinancing projects benefiting from structural funds in the region. The previous 2000-2006 and 2007-2013 operational programmes served to finance investment helping to improve the competitiveness of Andalusia’s economy.