Colombia: EU bank and Bancóldex foster consolidation and stabilisation of peace through enterprise development
- Jul 23, 2019
The EIB and Bancóldex, Colombia’s enterprise development bank, have signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen cooperation between the two institutions with a view to promoting inclusive and sustainable social and economic development in Colombia.
- European Investment Bank (EIB) funding will help to develop projects of microenterprises and SMEs operating in areas most affected by the conflict
- Under new cooperation agreement, EIB will be able to provide Bancóldex with EUR 150m for disbursement to the country’s entrepreneurs to promote productive development
- EIB also reiterates its willingness to provide up to EUR 400m to boost the country’s economy
- Migration crisis: EIB President Werner Hoyer and Vice-President Emma Navarro meet with NGOs that have received donations from the EIB to help Venezuelan immigrants
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Bancóldex, Colombia’s enterprise development bank, have signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen cooperation between the two institutions with a view to promoting inclusive and sustainable social and economic development in Colombia.
Under this new cooperation agreement, the EIB is examining the possibility of granting Bancóldex a loan of EUR 150m to promote economic activity in the areas most affected by the conflict. This funding from the European Union’s bank is designed to support microenterprises and SMEs operating in those areas, enabling them to develop their projects and thereby fostering job creation and economic growth.
EIB President Werner Hoyer and Vice-President Emma Navarro, who is responsible for EIB activity in Latin America, are on an official visit to Colombia, where they have also signed with Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez an agreement for Bogotá to host the EIB's regional office.
Supporting the post-conflict economy was precisely one of the main issues discussed at the meetings of the European delegation with the Colombian authorities. The EIB reiterated its willingness to provide a loan of up to EUR 400m to develop infrastructure and projects that will have a positive impact in the areas most affected by the conflict.
“The EU bank wants to support Colombia by facilitating investments that contribute to the post-conflict efforts. The agreement with Bancóldex will enable micro, small and medium-sized enterprises trying hard to get ahead in the most affected areas to benefit from our funding,” said EIB President Werner Hoyer when the signing the agreement. “It is a great example of our priorities in Colombia and Latin America: working to promote social development through projects that help to improve people’s lives,” he added.
EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro went on to say that: “This agreement demonstrates the firm commitment of the EU bank to helping relaunch the Colombian economy in the post-conflict context. At the same time, this new cooperation agreement with Bancóldex will enable the EIB to step up its activity in Colombia, financing projects that contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and promote climate action.”
Bancóldex’s Chairman Javier Diaz Fajardo stressed the importance of this strategic partnership between the two banks. “This demonstrates our institution’s confidence at the launch of support that will only get stronger and continue helping our country’s businesses, with a special focus on meeting the funding needs of entrepreneurs affected by the conflict”.
Support for the migration crisis
During their visit to Colombia, the President and Vice-President of the European Investment Bank received first-hand information about the humanitarian crisis caused by the mass arrival of Venezuelan immigrants.
They also met with the different NGOs that have received donations from the EIB to meet the needs of the Venezuelan migrants (the Red Cross, Save the Children, SOS Villages d’Enfants Monde and Malteser International), which gave them detailed information about the positive impact of this EIB aid. These donations have made it possible to provide support for 1 000 unaccompanied child migrants who have arrived in the departments of Santander and La Guajira, offer educational activities to 3 000 children, set up four healthcare centres in Arauca, Nariño, Vichada and La Guajira, and distribute food and emergency aid to some 400 families based in rural areas.
As part of the support being offered by the European Union to respond to this crisis, the EIB has expressed its full commitment to facilitating investments that can help to improve social infrastructure in the most affected areas.
EU: Latin America's main investment partner
The European Union is the main partner for the development of the Latin America region, its number one investor and second biggest trade partner. The EIB is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy objectives.
The EIB provides economic support for projects in Latin America by offering both long-term investment with favourable conditions and the technical support needed to ensure that these projects deliver positive social, economic and environmental results. Since the EIB began operating in the region in 1993, it has provided total financing of over EUR 8.4bn to support around 120 projects in 14 countries. This includes Colombia, where the EIB is supporting the construction of Bogotá's first metro line by providing EUR 400m.