From mid-2018, small and medium companies in Serbia will be able to get considerably more favorable investment credits in select commercial banks thanks to the project “EU for Serbia – Financing for SMEs”, the Ministry of Economy announced.
At the initiative of the ministry, the project is financed by the European Union from the pre-accession fund with EUR 20 million, meant for credit guarantees. At the meeting held on Friday, March 16, 2018, organized for representatives of banks operating in Serbia, the recently opened public call for their participation in the project was presented.
After the banks are selected, the project will enable micro, small and medium companies (SMEs) to apply for the credits.
– The value of the project is EUR 20 million, and we aim to use the effects of these guarantees to secure favorable credit support to new SME investments in the amount exceeding EUR 100 million. The priority of the Ministry of Economy is to provide more favorable financing to small and medium companies for the development of their operations, thereby stimulating their growth – stated the assistant to the minister of economy, Katarina Obradovic Jovanovic.
Obradovic Jovanovic thanked the EU for having accepted the initiative of the Ministry of Economy and for financing this project.
– One of the biggest challenges Serbian enterprises face is limited access to funding sources. We are therefore proud to have the opportunity to fund loan guarantees in Serbia for the first time. They are expected to secure not only the much needed financial assistance for the economy, but also to make the sources of financing more favorable and accessible, particularly for innovative and micro enterprises and start-ups. We are certain that this action will strengthen Serbian economy and boost its competitiveness – said Steffen Hudolin, Head of Operations at the EU Delegation to Serbia.
The project “EU for Serbia – Financing for SMEs” is implemented by the European Investment Fund (EIF) as part of the Western Balkans Enterprise Development & Innovation Facility (EDIF). As part of the European Investment Bank Group, the EIF specializes in providing support for micro, small and medium sized enterprises in Europe by facilitating their access to funding.