EBRD, EU and donors support SMEs and green homes in North Macedonia
€3.5 million loans to ProCredit Bank to support green housing and competitive economy
- €3.5 million financial package to ProCredit Bank Skopje in order to increase access to finance for small businesses and residential home owners
- EU, WBIF and Austria funds to identify best available equipment and for incentive payments
- New funds to build green, competitive and well-integrated economy in North Macedonia
The EBRD is providing two loans of €3.5 million in total to ProCredit Bank Skopje in order to support on one hand the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in their ambition to reach the EU standards and on other hand the home-owners to make their buildings more energy efficient. The new funds come at a critical time, as both private businesses and citizens feel the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The first part of the financial package includes a loan of €2.5 million to ProCredit Bank to increase the competiveness of SMEs in North Macedonia. It will be lent on to businesses to upgrade their production processes and equipment to European Union (EU) standards, in particular with regards to product quality and safety, health and safety measures and environmental preservation.
These activities are part of the Western Balkans SME Competitiveness Support Programme, for which the EBRD provides loans, while the EU complements them with incentive payments and technical assistance. The goal is to help SMEs to modernise their business and take full advantage of trade opportunities both in the region and with the European market.
In addition, the second part of the financial package includes €1 million loan to support individual investments in green materials, equipment and technologies for privately-owned residential buildings. It is part of the Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF), which offers energy and resource-efficient solutions to build a greener, more sustainable economy across the Western Balkans.
The latter project is supported by funds from the European Union, the Western Balkans Investment Framework and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance to identify and verify the best available equipment, as well as for incentive payment once projects are completed.
Andi Aranitasi, EBRD Head of North Macedonia, said: “We are very pleased that, together with our longstanding partner ProCredit Bank Macedonia, we can provide additional support to SMEs and Macedonian citizens to invest in competitiveness of their businesses and improve energy efficiency of their homes. Strengthening SME sector and investing in green economy are some of our key priorities in North Macedonia and this project will help us come a step closer to both of these objectives. We are also thankful for the support of EU, WBIF and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance, all of whom with their grant contributions, have helped make the programmes a big success and North Macedonia a regional leader in terms of utilisation of funds under both CSP and GEFF.”
Janmaat Freek, Delegation of the European Union to North Macedonia, Head of Operations 1, said: “Within the current health pandemic, provision of more favorable access to finance to small and medium sized companies is of outmost importance. While ongoing government measures do support companies to preserve jobs and survival of companies, the joint EU and EBRD programme “SME financing facility”, provides resources for completion of capital investments and future growth of companies. The combination of loan and grant has proven to be a strong tool to encourage companies to pursue the planned investments and expand business further. On the other hand, the facility is a booster for the financial intermediaries which in turn can take on more risk and expand lending activities from their own resources.”
“ProCredit Bank successfully supports the Macedonian economy for 17 years and is a proven partner of small and medium enterprises. Our success is due to the long-term partnership, transparency in the communication with customers, high quality service and responsible lending.
As socially responsible Bank, which encourages and supports investments in energy efficient projects, we have provided funds for lending, as well as opportunity for grants to both PC the companies and the citizens, to help them execute the planned investments and improve the energy efficiency of their homes.” – said the management board of ProCredit Bank
The EBRD has been investing in the Macedonian economy since 1993. To date, the Bank has signed more than 130 projects in the country, with a net cumulative business volume of over €2 billion.