The agreement demonstrates EIB Global’s commitment under Team Europe to increase access to finance for Macedonian SMEs and support their sustainable growth.
The funds will help cover liquidity and investment needs, with a particular focus on green projects.
Since 2019, the EIB has provided €212 million for small business in the country, helping to retain over 46 000 jobs and create 1 815 new positions.
In cooperation with the Development Bank of North Macedonia (DBNM) and local commercial banks, EIB Global, the arm of the European Investment Bank for activities outside the European Union, will provide €100 million to boost development and the green transition of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-caps in the country. The funds will address the liquidity and investment needs of local businesses, and finance energy and green transition projects. This will support low-carbon and climate-resilient growth in North Macedonia, in line with the European Union’s Economic and Investment Plan and the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans.
EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova, responsible for operations in North Macedonia, said:“The ongoing energy and economic crises are putting a further dent in the finances of local companies, which are already credit constrained. Improved access to finance for small and medium businesses and a stable banking sector are priorities to achieve economic growth, job creation and greater competitiveness. With this in mind, our credit line will support the country’s climate objectives and SME growth. Both are critical to ensure sustainable economic development and prosperity in the broader region.”
The funds are part of the set of measures adopted by the Government of North Macedonia in 2022 to support households and businesses amid the economic slowdown and the energy crisis. Additional technical assistance will be signed in the coming months to support the DBNM, local commercial banks and Macedonian companies in achieving their green finance ambitions.
As Minister of Finance Fatmir Besimi explained, this timely continuation of support would give companies a boost amid the challenges posed by the energy crisis and promote the country’s energy transition plan.
“Fresh capital of €100 million will be injected into the national economy, extending support for companies’ liquidity needs and investments in renewables and thus providing operational stability and a stable supply of electricity from their own resources. This is a process we have been successfully carrying out together with the European Investment Bank, the Development Bank of North Macedonia and commercial banks in the country.”
This is the seventh cooperation agreement between the DBNM and the EIB. The previous six agreements saw €550 million go towards supporting 2 362 local companies. This is the banks’ first joint credit line with a climate action and environmental sustainability component, aiming to support the green transformation of the local economy.
Chief Executive Officer of the Development Bank of North Macedonia Kire Naumov said: “Thanks to the active role and permanent support of the European Investment Bank, we have been able to continue making a positive impact on economic growth, the creation of new jobs, and the green and digital transition in the country through EU financial resources. With the seventh EIB cooperation agreement, the DBNM will continue to support small and medium businesses and strengthen its role in supporting green financing.”
EU Ambassador to North Macedonia David Geer remarked: “This credit line will support private sector investments in energy efficiency, renewable sources of energy and the circular economy. It will provide opportunities for the economic development of North Macedonia while contributing to a sustainable, net-zero carbon future. More specifically, this green credit line — promoted jointly by the European Union and the EIB — will help Macedonian small and medium-sized companies become more competitive and innovative in the context of today’s rapid-paced green transition.”
The EIB has invested €212 million in the private sector in the country since 2019. The Bank is looking to mobilise further investments for private sector development in North Macedonia under the European Fund for Sustainable Development Plus (EFSD+) and the latest EU guarantee facilities encouraging green investments, innovation and digital transition in the region.
About the EIB and EIB Global
The EIB is the long-term financing 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 goals. The EIB supports projects in four priority areas: infrastructure, innovation, climate and environment, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). EIB Global is the EIB Group’s specialised arm devoted to increasing the impact of international partnerships and development finance, and a key partner of the Global Gateway. We aim to support €100 billion of investment by the end of 2027 — around one-third of the overall target of this EU initiative. Within Team Europe, EIB Global fosters strong, focused partnerships alongside fellow development finance institutions and civil society. EIB Global brings the EIB Group closer to local people, companies and institutions through our offices around the world.
About the Development Bank of North Macedonia
The Development Bank of North Macedonia is the only development bank in the Republic of North Macedonia established and operating under a special law. The primary objective of the DBNM is to support and instigate the development of the national economy in compliance with the country’s strategic policies, objectives and priorities. The DBNM’s mission is to promote and offer favourable financial products for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to improve domestic competitiveness and support exports and economic growth and development.
About the EIB in North Macedonia
The EIB has been active in the territory of North Macedonia since its establishment in 1991, providing finance to support key infrastructure projects, local authorities and small and medium enterprises. The EIB has provided €1.2 billion of financing to SMEs and transport, energy and utility infrastructure projects. For more information regarding the EIB’s projects in North Macedonia, visit North Macedonia and the EIB.
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