3 million euros loan from EBRD to Albania in support of SMEs
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced a new financing of 3 million euros loan for Small and Medium Entreprises in Albania. The loan will be granted to the local bank Pro Credit, while the European Union will provide 450,000 euros incentive grants to support local entreprise's investments in sustainable technology and energy efficiency.
The financing is part of the broader EU/EBRD SME Competitiveness Support Programme to increase the capability of SMEs in the Western Balkans to access and face competition in the European Union's market, by supporting the implementation of the EU standards in the fields of environmental protection, occupational health and safety and product quality safety. While the prospect of EU membership presents many positive opportunities for the country, progress with the adoption of the acquis communautaire will involve significant regulatory changes, giving rise to a large investment burden for enterprises to comply with the new standards.
As business costs are rising, due to inflation (which reached 7,5% in July in Albania) and the effects of the war in Ukraine, SMEs will be able thanks to the loan to use the funds to upgrade their production, and buy new types of equipment and operations. All of this will help the Albanian companies to achieve European Union's standards in environmental protection, workers' safety, and products' quality.
Additional 450 thousand euros (15% of the total amount), in the form of incentive grants, will be provided by the European Union to support local SMEs' investments to boost their competitiveness in the market. In particular by supporting companies in:
- accessing finance towards EU standards investments;
- getting advice and know-how for introducing and implementing EU standards.
The Head of EBRD Albania, Ekaterina Solovova, commented the initialtive: “We are pleased to build on the already successful partnership between our institution and ProCredit and thereby strengthen the competitiveness of local SMEs, boost their access to finance and promote their investment in green technologies and energy efficiency.”
“Sustainability is an important element of our business strategy. We are committed to supporting and incentivising our SME clients who are willing to engage in green investment. In this way we contribute to our overall objective of promoting sustainable economic development and have a positive environmental and social impact,” explained the management of ProCredit Bank Albania.