The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed with UniCredit Bank a loan agreement for EUR 50 million, marking the first financing deal with a local commercial bank to fall under the framework of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) in Romania, a press release informs.
UniCredit Bank will use the loan to finance innovative – by InnovFin criteria- or riskier projects by SMEs, Mid-Caps, start-ups and companies promoting employment in general and jobs for the young people in particular.
UniCredit Bank thus becomes the first Romanian commercial bank to benefit from the support of the EU budget guarantee under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the financial pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, also known as “Juncker Plan”.
“The European Investment Bank activity in Romania is gaining traction. We are very happy to team up with UniCredit Bank, a long-standing local partner of the EIB Group, in our strong commitment for the growth of the local economy under the framework of the “Juncker Plan”. That comes on top of our traditional financing activities and will give an additional boost to job-creation in this important EU country, by providing long-term, affordable financing to innovative SMEs and start-ups,” EIB Vice-President Andrew McDowell said.
In turn, European Commissioner Corina Cretu, responsible for regional policy, pointed out that the small businesses play a crucial role in the country’s economy, bringing innovative products to the market and providing jobs to local communities.
“Better access to finance is the fuel they need to drive the economy forward and the European Fund for Strategic Investments, along with cohesion funds, is precisely that fuel. The agreement signed between the European Investment Bank and UniCredit will provide a boost of EUR 50 million to around 100 SMEs across the country. I am happy and proud to see the Juncker Plan working for Romania’s growth,” Cretu stated.