26th July 2019, Skopje – Second tranch favourable loans for SMEs from the European Investment Bank (EIB) in the amount of EIR 16 million will be disbursed at the beginning of next week. The funds will be used to support projects of 53 SMEs, Deputy Minister of Finance, Shiret Elezi, and Acting Chief Operating Officer of the Development Bank of North Macedonia, Veland Ramadani, pointed out.

As Ramadani stated, total of EUR 31 million will be disbursed in the first two tranches, funds intended to support 92 SMEs. The Development Bank also works on the preparatory activities for disbursement of the new third tranche in the amount of around EUR 9 million as support to 20 new SMEs.

It was pointed out at the meeting that favourable loans mean access to capital and improved liquidity for the SMEs, and new investments and job creation for the economy.

-SMEs are the base of the economy. They are creators of large number of jobs in our country, participate in the creation of more than half of the gross domestic product and account for 99% of the total number of enterprises operating in our economy. Unfortunately, access to capital, to loans, is much harder for the small- and medium-sized enterprises than for the larger companies. Therefore, the Government, through favourable loans for SMEs via the Development Bank, as well as a series of other measures, extends support to this sector. We make efforts for the investment activity and entrepreneurship to be developed, jobs to be created, Deputy Minister of Finance, Shiret Elezi, said.

Chief Operating Officer of the Development Bank, Ramadani, underlined that, under the EIB credit line, the Bank continues to realize its strategic commitment to support the Macedonian economy and to achieve sustainable growth by supporting the SMEs.

-We, as Development Bank of North Macedonia, strongly believe in continuing the successful cooperation with EIB, all to the end of providing better quality financial sources to the SMEs, thus contributing to strengthening the overall economy, increasing employment, encouraging innovations and boosting export. In addition to this credit line, EIB offer includes a wide range of financial products, i.e. credit lines, factoring, guarantees and export insurance, adjusted to the needs of the final users, Ramadani said.

Terms and conditions under which funds from EIB credit line can be used are exceptionally favourable, i.e. 3.2% interest rate, up to 12-year repayment period for investments and priority projects and up to 3-year repayment period for operating assets. Activities supported with the fifth EIB credit line for both tranches are production, trade, construction, transport, health and education, hotels and restaurants and other activities.

Total value of the Project MBDP Loan for SMEs and Priority Projects V is EUR 100 million and the Finance Contract was signed in September last year. Favourable EIB loans under the previous four credit lines, in the total amount of EUR 350 million, have been realized so far.

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