Serbia and the EIB signed an agreement worth 200 million euros and the funds are intended for liquidity loans

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The Minister of Finance, Sinisa Mali, and the Vice President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Liliana Pavlova, signed an important financial agreement today.

It provides support for small and medium-sized enterprises and enterprises with medium market capitalization, in order to mitigate the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The signing was attended by the Minister of Economy Andjelka Atanaskovic and the Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Mateja Norcic Stamcar.

After signing the agreement, Minister Mali said that it was worth 200 million euros and that the funds were intended for liquidity loans, ie working capital, as well as investments for small and medium enterprises and medium market capitalization companies.

“This is an extremely important agreement for us and an important day for the economy of the Republic of Serbia. The Government of the Republic of Serbia reacted to the coronavirus pandemic in a timely, responsible and decisive manner. We adopted three economic programs to support citizens and the economy totaling about eight billion euros, which is about 17.4% of GDP,” Mali said.

He added that thanks to the measures of the Government of Serbia, mass layoffs and closures of factories and production plants were avoided, as unfortunately could be seen in some other countries.

Minister Mali said that two guarantee schemes in the total amount of three billion euros were part of the support package, and that almost two billion euros had already been placed.

“One of the elements of our support was cheap loans through the Development Fund, and many companies used those cheap loans. These 200 million euros will be placed through the Development Fund to those companies that have not yet received money, in order to mitigate the negative consequences of the pandemic. So we have not forgotten them and every company that has applied to get help through the Development Fund will get that money through this credit line,” said Sinisa Mali.

He stated that the loans will be placed under very favorable conditions, and specified that 110 million euros are intended for working capital, ie for liquidity assistance, and 90 million euros for investment activities, for the purchase of equipment, growth and development of the company which would further reduce the negative consequences of the pandemic and contribute to the growth of our economy.

The Minister of Economy, Andjelka Atanaskovic, said that small and medium enterprises are the most important engine that drives the whole of Serbia.
She added that the Ministry of Economy is implementing four programs of support to small and medium enterprises this year, for which 16.9 million euros have been set aside, in order to help them start their business, as well as to do business even better and more successfully.

EIB Vice President Liliana Pavlova, emphasizing the importance of the agreement signed today, stated that the goal is to provide financial support to the SME sector in this difficult economic situation, by preserving their liquidity, their working capital and ensuring their full recovery.

“I am really glad to see that Serbia is recovering very quickly after the crisis caused by the pandemic. This recovery is really impressive because Serbia has already achieved GDP growth of 1.7% in the first quarter of this year. The banking system has proved resilient during these difficult times and all this was achieved thanks to strong policy measures aimed at supporting the economy through various measures implemented by the Government,” Pavlova said.

Mateja Norcic Stamcar from the EU Delegation to Serbia pointed out that small and medium enterprises are the backbone of the economy, and that the EU has been supporting them for years, both by granting programs and by providing loans or providing bank guarantees, so that entrepreneurs have access to loans on more favorable terms, B92 reports.