- Tuesday, September 11, 2018 11:18 AM
Skopje, 11 September 2018 (MIA) - As of Tuesday, Macedonian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have at their disposal a EUR 100 million credit line from the European Investment Bank (EIB), distributed through the Macedonian Bank for Development Promotion and 11 commercial banks.
The agreement with the commercial banks is expected by the end of September, followed by the October launch of the application process. Loans will be allocated in tranches of EUR 5 million each, and companies can apply with projects worth EUR 6,000-3,000,000.
The credit line will be available in the next two years, at an interest rate of about 3.5 percent and a repayment period of 12 years, including a grace period of 2-4 years, depending on the project.
The line can be used for investments, procurement of equipment, building materials, machinery, transportation means, turnover funding etc.
Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, who attended the signing event, said EIB has recognized the positive signals of the Macedonian economy, especially in the second quarter of 2018, when the GDP rose by 3.1 percent, industrial production increased by 8.4 percent, while employment by 7.2 percent.
Finance Minister Dragan Tevdovski said this is not the only support that the Government is offering to SMEs in the country, adding that the budget also incorporates MKD 1,3 billion (EUR 21,1 million) for support of these companies and additional MKD 1 billion (EUR 16,2 million) for active employment measures.
"The EUR 100 million are only a portion of the comprehensive plan for SME support we have undertaken," added Tevdovski.
EIB Vice-President Andrew McDowell said the credit line supports the country's approximation to the EU and added that the bank intends to put its future focus in Macedonia on support to transport, energy and environment sectors.
To date, EIB's total support for the country amounts to EUR 450 million. ik/11:16
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