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The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) agreed today to support recovery of Croatian SMEs and mid-caps from COVID-19 pandemic with up to €200 million in flexible, more affordable loans.

The loans will be available to Croatian companies looking to finance ongoing investments or provide much-needed working capital. SMEs and mid-caps are the backbone of the Croatian economy and a major source of employment in the country.

EIB Vice President responsible for EIB activities in Croatia, Dario Scannapieco, said “Successful and growing SMEs are crucial for a faster and sustainable recovery of the Croatian economy from COVID-19, which is why we are proud to support their business plans with a new source of finance. This loan is part of a comprehensive EU-wide economic response to the pandemic, and the EIB continues to deliver a tangible, real support to Croatia and its economy in its time of need. I also welcome the recent decision by the Croatian Government to join the EIB Pan-European Guarantee Fund. I hope Parliament will endorse the decision which will create new opportunities for faster recovery of SMEs and mid-caps in Croatia and across the EU.”

The EIB investment is part of the European Union`s COVID-19 economic support for European SMEs approved by the EIB in April 2020, shortly after the outbreak of the pandemic. Under the signed agreement, the EIB will contribute €100 million to the SMEs and Mid-caps in Croatia.

President of the Management Board of HBOR, Tamara Perko, said: “Since the end of March, HBOR has, within the framework of COVID-19 measures, approved loans in the total amount exceeding HRK 1 billion to companies affected by the pandemic. The funds for working capital loans from HBOR's sources are approved at an interest rate from 0%, and the contract signed today will provide us with an additional source to continue implementing such favourable lending conditions. ”

Since 2001, the EIB and HBOR have signed 23 financial contracts worth €3 billion, including 17 financial contracts worth in excess of €2.8 billion in support of SMEs and mid-caps in key sectors of national economy including  infrastructure, energy efficiency and environment protection.