US loan facility enters Serbian economy

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In the Ministry of Finance, contracts were signed between the American Corporation for International Development Financing DFC and four banks on the implementation of a new guarantee scheme worth up to 400 million, and the first credit line is 272 million dollars.

The contracts were signed with four banks, namely “Prokredit”, “Adiko”, “Banka inteza” and “Raifeisen banka”, and they were signed by the deputy president of the DFC, Merije Kosharej.

The signing was also attended by Finance Minister Siniša Mali, American Ambassador Christopher Hill and Governor of the National Bank of Serbia Jorgovanka Tabaković.

The guarantee scheme is implemented with the support of the Ministry of Finance, and as explained by Minister Mali, the first credit line of 272 million dollars is intended for small and medium-sized enterprises, enterprises in the field of agriculture, for the development of startups and companies led by women.

“Exactly the part that we consider to be the biggest driver of the development of our economy. They will be able to use loans, both for working capital and for investments for a period of six months to 10 years,” Mali said.

He explained that the prerequisite for today’s signing of the contract was the signing of an agreement with the American administration on encouraging investments, which was done last year, and all on the basis of the Washington Agreement, where then US President Donald Trump and Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić were present.

Mali assessed that today’s event is a signal that the American administration believes in the perspectives of our economy and another confirmation that our economy is on the right track.

The Deputy Vice President of DFC Merijem Kosharej pointed out that this financial organization is committed to investing in Serbia, especially in light of the Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine, which caused numerous disruptions in business.

“The Serbian economy has experienced impressive economic growth in the last two decades, but businesses still have challenges in accessing loans necessary for growth and competitive business. It is estimated that the lack of these funds amounts to 10 million dollars, and this especially applies to women-owned businesses and farms in small rural areas,” Kosharej said.

The American ambassador to Serbia, Christopher Hill, indicated that it took two years to reach the signing of the agreement, because there were many problems, which, as he stated, have nothing to do with Serbia, but with the fact that in the meantime we had a covid pandemic, and that the war in Ukraine happened later.

“The fact that the DFC stayed with the agreement means that it believed in this project and its partners in Serbia. It shows that we are committed to making America and Serbia strong partners, which we at the embassy have done a lot of recently,” Hill said.

As particularly important, he pointed out that loans will be given to small and medium-sized enterprises, which, he said, are the heart of the modern economy, which is actually built by them, not huge conglomerates.

Hill repeated once again that the future of Serbia lies in the West and that anyone who suggests something else is not worth listening to, RTS writes.

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