Monday, March 30, 2009

EIB to invest 1.5 bln euros in Romania in 2009

BUCHAREST - The European Investment Bank (EIB) said Monday it will inject 1.5 billion euros in Romania this year, with a third of the money going to small and medium-sized enterprises hit by the crisis.

“In 2008, EIB investments in Romania amounted to 1.1 billion euros. In 2009, our objective is to reach 1.5 billion (2.0 billion dollars),” EIB’s Vice-President Matthias Kollatz-Ahnen told a press conference.

A third of these funds will go to SMEs, a third to industry and a third to infrastructure, he added.

Among the industry projects, 400 million euros will go as requested to US carmaker Ford, which bought Daewoo’s manufacturing plant in Craiova, in southern Romania, in 2008.

Ford had requested state guarantees from Romania for this loan, which should cover a large part of the 675 million euros needed to modernise the plant.

Kollatz-Ahnen also called on Romanian banks to use the funds at their disposal to finance small and medium-sized enterprises. These funds were available “long-term and at a very reasonable rate,” he noted.

According to the president of the National Union of Romanian Employers (UNPR), Petre Milut, some 25 percent of Romanian SMEs might have to shut down in 2009 due to the crisis, which has severely hit their ability to get credit.

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