The European Investment Bank (EIB) Group has today inaugurated its representative office in Bratislava to enhance its presence in Slovakia.
The EU bank has also signed a loan of EUR 350 million to Slovakia to co-finance priority projects eligible for support from EU funds within the period 2014-2020. The financing – the first tranche of an approved loan of EUR 669.6 million – will support strategic transport infrastructure investment identified in the national Transport Master Plan of the Slovak Republic.
EIB President Mr Werner Hoyer, who inaugurated the EIB Group office with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the Slovak Republic Peter Kažimír, stated: “The office will ensure our physical presence in Slovakia, provide for market proximity and improve our delivery capacity. The EU bank is following its “lending, blending and advising” approach towards mobilising investments. There is scope to increase our support and deepen our cooperation with Slovak project promoters, private investors, co-financers and public authorities for the benefit of the people”.
“The establishment of a permanent office in Slovakia is an iconic moment in the development of our mutual relations and visibility of the EIB. The Bank´s financing of investments have been promoting economic growth of our economy and support of regional development.” added Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the Slovak Republic Peter Kažimír.
The EIB currently has offices in 20 EU Member States and 19 countries outside the EU promoting business and policy dialogue.
The Bank’s exposure in Slovakia is EUR 6.6bn in signed loans. The contract signed today will complement its large portfolio of strategic transport projects in the country.
EIB Vice-President László Baranyay, responsible for lending activities in Slovakia, said: “This loan is a good example of how to efficiently blend our financing with EU funds. It will contribute to the establishment of a safer and more fluid transport system, in particular rail. I truly hope our investment will improve the attractiveness of environmentally friendly means of transport, with benefits in terms of both improving the quality of life of Slovakia’s citizens and strengthening the country’s competitiveness.”
The EIB support will be provided in two ways: a Structural Programme Loan to co-finance investments in the transport sector under the Operational Programme Integrated Infrastructure, and co-financing of the national contribution to the Connecting Europe Facility for the period 2014-2020.
The EIB loan will finance investments required to (i) build the missing sections of core TEN-T rail and road networks; (ii) purchase railway rolling stock; (iii) build port infrastructure; (iv) develop urban tram systems; (v) upgrade regional roads and bypasses; and (vi) implement intelligent transport and management systems for both road and rail.
This is the fourth loan co-financing EU funds in Slovakia. The Bank previously co-financed EU funds with loans of EUR 95 million in 2004, EUR 1.3 billion in 2010, and most recently, EUR 600 million in June 2015.
The European Investment Fund (EIF), part of the EIB Group, is managing under JEREMIE (Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises) a EUR 100 million Holding Fund using the EU structural funds allocated to the country. Thanks to the four guarantee, two risk sharing and two equity operations, SMEs in Slovakia can benefit from venture capital investments, investment loans and working capital on preferential terms totalling EUR 330 million.
A further two guarantees and two microfinance operations aim to catalyse approximately EUR 85 million in finance for innovative and high growth SMEs and EUR 20 million for micro-entrepreneurs excluded from access to traditional banking services, including young and self-employed entrepreneurs.
Courtesy of the European Investment Bank