“Reforms are urgently needed to boost investment”: President Hoyer at Delphi Economic Forum in Greece
3 March 2017
“Regulators and legislators, at national and EU level, must come together to accelerate the pace of reform” said European Investment Bank (EIB) President Werner Hoyer at the opening ceremony of the 2nd Delphi Economic Forum in Delphi, Greece.
President Hoyer added in his speech: “To boost investment in particular areas, such as research and innovation, in which we continue to lag behind, I believe reforms are urgently needed. We are used to talk about a perfect and complete internal market, but in reality investors struggle every day to navigate the diversity and lack of consistency in rules across borders.”
The Delphi Economic Forum, held annually, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organisation working closely with civil society, public organisations, businesses and individuals. It connects government and business leaders from around the world with leading voices from academia, media and civil society in an effort to identify and deliberate key challenges and promote sustainable and socially responsible growth policies for Greece, Europe and the wider Eastern Mediterranean region.
This year’s conference is being held under the tile “Outlook for Greece and the Region — Vision 2020-2030”. It is under the auspices of the President of the Hellenic Republic Professor Prokopis Pavlopoulos.
Referring to Greece and the involvement of the EU Bank in the country, President Hoyer said: “Here in Greece, where certain issues may still persist, growth has returned and work is progressing, probably not as fast as many would want, but the economic situation certainly seems to be evolving.”
President Hoyer explained how the Investment Team for Greece (ITG) has delivered on its commitment to support entrepreneurship and innovation with 16 new financing operations signed and an additional 8 guarantee agreements for SMEs and microfinance signed by the European Investment Fund last year. The total investment of the EIB Group in Greece in 2016 was EUR 1.63 billion.
He said that EIB Group continues to support productive investment leading to sustainable growth. “We continue speaking to promoters around the country to identify investment opportunities. Our pipeline of new operations in Greece is growing steadily and we are confident that we will further broaden our support throughout the country.”
European Investment Bank (EIB) President Werner Hoyer made his first visit to Athens and Nicosia this year, reaffirming the EU bank’s long-standing partnerships with Greece and Cyprus. In 2019, the EIB provided €2 billion of new investment for Greece covering climate action, health, clean energy, transport, small businesses and more. Cyprus received €230 million of new investment, which included support for urban development, transport, innovation, renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the National Bank of Greece (NBG) have signed a financing agreement guaranteed under the Investment Plan for Europe (also known as the “Juncker Plan”), to channel an amount of up to EUR 200 million to small and medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”) and medium-sized companies (“Mid-Caps”) in Greece. The financing is provided through a private placement of covered bonds issued by the NBG with the European Investment Bank.
As part of exceptional measures in support of the Greek economic recovery, the EIB signed today a EUR 1 billion loan to Greece for the co-financing of projects which also receive funding from EU structural funds over the 2014-2020 period.