EIB invests €100mn to support post-COVID recovery of North Macedonia’s SMEs

By bne IntelliNews June 21, 2021

The European Investment Bank (EIB) said on June 21 it is providing a €100mn loan to support the faster recovery of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in North Macedonia from the COVID-19 economic crisis.

The loan is part of a €1.7bn financial package adopted by the EIB in May 2020 under the Team Europe initiative to assist the socioeconomic recovery of the Western Balkans region.

The EIB loan will provided to the Development Bank of North Macedonia (DBNM) for on-lending to SMEs in the manufacturing sector and services so that they can recover quickly from the COVID-19 crisis, to keep jobs and increase productivity, the EIB said in the statement.

New sources of more affordable financing for both working capital and longer-term investments are being provided, with longer maturities and lower interest rates, the EIB said.

"With this €100mn in investment, we expect to provide financial support for at least 300 projects conducted by domestic small and medium businesses.” CEO of the Development Bank of North Macedonia, Kire Naumov, said.

Naumov added that in the last 13 years, the DBNM implemented five financing contracts and is now introducing the sixth, providing €550mn in total for economic development in North Macedonia.

To date, the EU bank, which has been active in North Macedonia since 1977, has invested €1bn, mostly for SMEs and the transportation sector.

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