The European Investment Bank (EIB), bank of the European Union, has provided EUR 30 million to the Exportno-importná banka Slovenskej Republiky (EXIMBANKA SR) to support its lending to Slovakia`s export-oriented small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-caps. The EIB operation unlocks a new source of more accessible finances for SMEs and mid-caps and accelerates country`s recovery form COVID-19 pandemic.
The loan from the EIB will help mitigate the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the local economy, help SMEs and mid-caps sustain jobs, maintain liquidity, and continue with investments and expansion plans. EIB financing will be available at the EXIMBANKA to export-oriented companies looking also to address disruptions in their value-chains SMEs account for 99.9% of firms, 72% of jobs, and 58% of value added in the Slovak Republic.
Vice President of the EIB, Lilyana Pavlova, who is responsible for operations in Slovakia, said: “Our latest operation underlines EIB`s commitment to remain a reliable partner of Slovakia in creation and protection of jobs and income for its citizens, as well as in strengthening the local economy and increasing competitiveness and export potential of Slovak economy. Together with EXIMBANKA, we are unlocking a new, valuable source of financing for local SMEs and mid-caps to ensure Slovak economy can continue to grow, maintain their competitiveness and contribute to social and economic development as well as faster COVID-19 recovery of the Slovakian economy.
Chairman of the Bank Board and CEO of EXIMBANKA SR Monika Kohútová, said: “We are continuously looking for additional and more advantageous financing options for Slovak exporting companies and we are pleased that we could build on historically first and successful cooperation with the EIB, which was established in 2018. Thanks to additional EIB funding, we are able to improve entrepreneurs' access to loans especially in the SME segment with favourable interest rates, at a time when they need support, even in times of the pandemic. Supporting SMEs still remains our top priority; they are our most important target group, for which this credit line is intended. In particular, businesses in this period benefit from the possibility to finance their operational needs, material and other costs as well as investment projects related to the implementation of their foreign contracts. Even nowadays, it is important for Slovak enterprises to seek new customers and expand their business into new territories. This way they not only gain new customers, increase their profits, but also diversify and reduce their risks. We are very pleased that, thanks to the EIB, our financing options will be more favourable and more accessible for these businesses and at the same time we can help maintain jobs in the segment of SMEs in Slovakia. I would therefore advise exporters to consider starting a business partnership with us as soon as possible so that they can take advantage of the financing benefits from these sources.
This is the second EIB operation with EXIMBANKA in support of country`s SMEs and midcaps; the first loan in the amount of EUR 50 million was signed in 2018.