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27 Oct 2017

European Investment Bank to support Belarusian SMEs

MINSK, 27 October (BelTA) – The European Investment Bank intends to provide financial support to small and medium enterprises (SME) in Belarus, BelTA learned from the statement released by the bank’s press service on 27 October.

According to the source, the bank is interested in supporting the private sector and SMEs, particularly via Belarusian banks and industry associations. The infrastructure projects, via which the bank is also ready to provide support, include the modernization of international transport corridors, municipal and environmental infrastructure, including projects in the area of water treatment and power engineering, projects to fight climate change.

The European Investment Bank is already participating in the evaluation of the project to modernize the motorway from Minsk to the Lithuanian border while simultaneously financing the relevant program in the transport sector together with the World Bank. The project can be described as an example of the bank’s role in enabling interaction between the European Union and the Eastern Partnership Initiative countries with a view to furthering the development of trade, economic growth, mobility, and in this case traffic safety, which will have a positive effect on daily lives of Belarusians.

BelTA reported earlier that Prime Minister of Belarus Andrei Kobyakov met with Vice President of the European Investment Bank Alexander Stubb on the sidelines of the Belarusian-European investment forum in Luxembourg on 27 October.

According to Alexander Stubb, by pooling their efforts, the European Union, the European Investment Bank and other international financial institutions operating in Belarus can enable the stimulation of economic development in the country. “Today’s economic forum represents another step in the EIB’s drive to support strategic investment projects in Belarus after the framework cooperation agreement was signed in May 2017,” he noted.

The European Investment Bank has worked for more than ten years in the Eastern Partnership region, which includes six countries the European Union borders on. So far the Eastern Partnership Initiative countries have borrowed €8 billion to implement projects in the area of infrastructure development, private sector, and climate change. Since November 2016 Belarus has been listed as a country eligible for the EIB’s external loans. Belarus and the European Investment Bank signed a framework cooperation agreement in May 2017. The document was ratified by the Belarusian parliament in July.

The Belarusian-European investment forum Belarus. Invest in Tomorrow took place in Luxembourg on 27 October. The key purpose of the forum was to create an effective and result-oriented tiered platform for establishing stable interaction of Belarusian credit and finance institutions and Belarusian commercial entities with European partners in addition to promoting strong and largely unique aspects of the Belarusian economy (information technologies, logistics) among Western business circles.

Luxembourg is Europe’s top and the world’s second best investment center after the USA. Luxembourg is home to slightly more than 500,000 people and about 3,900 investment funds and 143 banks. The total capital of the Luxembourg financial system exceeds €740 billion.


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