The European Investment Bank’s line of credit, according to a press release, will promote growth, employment, competitiveness and economic diversification on the federation.
According to EIB, the package supports small and medium sized enterprises as part of the European Investment Bank’s priority focus on private sector development. Projects in the manufacturing, industrial, agricultural, infrastructure, energy, health, education and tourism sectors will benefit from easier access to finance.
Renewable energy and energy efficiency projects will benefit from a dedicated USD 1 million component and will further benefit from an interest rate subsidy to facilitate investment in these sectors.
“The European Investment Bank recognises the importance of working closely with commercial and development banks from around the Caribbean so that they can continue lending to SMEs during difficult financial conditions. We have worked closely with Saint Kitts and Nevis’ Development Bank for almost 30 years and look forward to seeing the support that this programme offers to SMEs and Renewable Energy projects across the Federation. The dedicated assistance for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects recognises the specific challenges faced by small island states in their fight against climate change.” said Plutarchos Sakellaris, European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for the Caribbean.
The Chairman of the Development Bank of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Mr. Elvis J. Newton, in applauding the EIB’s timely financial intervention, said that “This line of credit is extremely important to both the DBSKN and the Government of the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis at this time of challenges resulting from the global financial crisis and will greatly support the Government of Saint Kitts and Nevis’ efforts towards job creation, foreign exchange earnings and growth and expansion of the local economy by making available financing on affordable terms to viable projects in the sectors which have been targeted”.
The European Investment Bank operates in the Caribbean under the Cotonou Agreement. This line of credit is the fourth EIB project to materialise under the Caribbean Joint Action Plan that the European Investment Bank signed with the Caribbean Development Bank, Finance for Development (“FMO”), the International Finance Corporation and PROPARCO on May 19, 2010 in the Bahamas, bringing EIB’s total contribution to the Caribbean region since May 2010 to USD$65M.