Serbian government and central bank officials and those of EIB and Fiat today in Luxembourg signed two contracts worth EUR 759mn, said reports.
The contracts were signed by Serbia’s Deputy Prime Minister Božidar Đelić, National Bank of Serbia Governor (NBS) Dejan Šoškić, Minister of Economy and Regional Development Nebojša Ćirić, and Vice President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Dario Scannapieco and Fiat Automobili Srbija CEO Giovanni de Filippis.
The first deal, worth EUR 250mn, is related to financing small and medium companies, while the second, worth EUR 500mn, is related to the investments Fiat plans to make in Serbia.
After the contract signing, Đelić told Tanjug that the deals will give the Serbian export economy an important financial injection worth EUR 750mn.
As far as the financial terms, they are the best possible right now with loans of up to 12 years with a four year grace period, and annual interest rates of four to five percent, he said, pointing out this will enable Serbian companies to compete on equal footing on the European and world market.
“We expect the program to have a significant effect on crating new jobs and boosting export,” Đelić said.
EIB Vice President for the Western Balkans Dario Scannapieco said that the contracts signed today are a very important form of support to Serbia’s economic development, and expressed satisfaction with the fact that this is the fourth time the EIB is signing a deal to finance small and medium companies in Serbia, adding that everything has gone smoothly in the past.
Minister Ćirić said that the contracts are very important for the development of the Serbian economy and export, and stressed the significance of the EUR 500mn which will be invested this and next year in the company jointly owned by Fiat and the Serbian government.
“This shows that we have been working seriously and that we will really have a new model by the end of the year, and starting in March or April of next year, full serial production of around 200,000 cars a year,” Ćirić said.
NBS Governor Dejan Šoškić said that the contracts are a step in the right direction, in line with Serbia’s export-oriented development concept.