Thursday, 31 March 2016

Improving access to finance for Romanian SMEs: EU adopts investment package worth €100 million

The European Commission adopted on March 29, 2016 the "SME Initiative" Operational Programme for Romanian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) 2014-2020, worth €100 million. The value of the investment provided by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in the form of guarantees is expected to quadruple to €400 million, thanks to the leverage effect of private investment in SME loans.

The SME Initiative for Romania is the fifth of its kind to be adopted for 2014-2020, encouraging Member States to make use of this joint initiative, developed by the Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group to boost access to finance for Europe's cash-strapped small businesses.

European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Crețu said: "Today Romania joined the group of Member States that want to improve the business environment for SMEs, by pledging 100 million of EU Regional Fund to help finance the small and medium enterprises. In a country where SMEs represent over 99% of the total number of enterprises and face serious needs of external financing, this programme supports them in order to access loan products in better conditions. This Initiative will also enable SMEs to be more innovative and competitive and to grow on regional, national and international markets."

Vasile Dîncu, Romania's Minister of Regional Policy and Public Administration added:

"Targeting one of the critical difficulties for Romanian SMEs – the access to financing and providing a leverage of 4, this innovative tool that is called the SMEs Initiative is intended to be a major booster for competitiveness. This supports SMEs to succeed on the market in order to overcome the first stages of their life-cycles, allowing them to grow – both numerically, but also as dimension and value and, by doing so, to be able to compete internationally. Providing a risk-sharing approach, the SMEs Initiative creates a win-win framework both for SMEs - as loans demand financial intermediaries – and on the loans' supply side, thus supporting the whole business environment. "


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