The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Erste Bank have agreed a credit line of EUR 30 million in order to enable a strong recovery of small, medium and mid-cap companies in Serbia in response to the drop in economic activities caused by the coronavirus crisis. The credit line will enable Erste Bank to provide loans to companies which have suffered great consequences of the pandemic and thereby help them save jobs, maintain the liquidity and ensure business continuity. This is the first activity in Serbia within the financial program of the EIB worth EUR 500 million, meant as a quick response to the coronavirus pandemic and the recovery of the private sector in the Western Balkans, which was announced at the EU Summit on the Western Balkans, held in Zagreb in April 2020.
The credits will be available to companies which operate in various sectors affected by the pandemic, such as retail and wholesale, hotel business, transport, food and drinks and services. The EU is Serbia's strategic partner due to its strong economic integration with the EU. With the help of the EU bank's funds, Erste Bank will contribute to a sustainable economic recovery of small and medium enterprises in Serbia by providing them with short-term working assets and more long-term investments.
The EIB and Erste Bank successfully cooperate in providing support to small and medium enterprises in the region. Since 2009, the EIB has invested more than EUR 1.8 billion in the Serbian economy, which has helped save more than 320,000 jobs.