As announced by the IRF, the first tranche agreement was signed in Vienna by the Chairman of IRF Director Zoran Vukčević and the Director General of the EIB, Luca Lazzaroli, within the Western Balkans countries Summit.
As mentioned, the first 100-million-euro loan tranche is intended to support and encourage the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Montenegro and to create new jobs. Vukcevic said that this credit arrangement is of particular importance for the development of MSP, but also for the overall economic development of Montenegro.
This is the fourth contract between the IRF and the EIB. And in the forthcoming period, IRF will cooperate successfully with EIB, with continuous cooperation lasting from 2012," said Vukcevic. Lazzaroli said MSPs are important drivers of economic growth and innovation in the Western Balkans, and that small businesses need more support for long-term financing, where barriers are often associated with high collateral requirements.
"There is also a need for better financing options for micro-enterprises and start-ups, and the EIB is providing MSPs with loans, guarantees, private capital and other financial instruments," Lazzaroli said. The IRF said the signing of the agreement between the two institutions is another confirmation of the strategic partnership that the EIB has with the Fund.
"By realizing this agreement, the EIB has provided additional incentives for job creation aimed at young people in terms of reducing interest rates by 0.2 percent," the statement adds.