The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Banca Comerciala Romania S.A. (BCR) sign EUR 50 million loan agreement to finance projects to be carried out by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), midcap companies and public entities in Romania, according to a press release. “EIB funds will improve access to long-term finance for SMEs, midcap companies and municipalities. This will help to strengthen Romania’s competitiveness, as these companies form the backbone of the country’s economy, create a significant amount of employment, particularly new job opportunities, and generate a substantial proportion of GDP”, stated Plutarchos Sakellaris, EIB Vice-President responsible for Romania. In his turn, Wolfgang Schoiswohl, BCR Vice-President responsible for Corporate Banking mentioned that BCR’s agreements with EIB turn into loans for the real economy. “Together with EIB, BCR is providing accessible financing to help kick-off investments, enhance productivity and support employment in a challenging economic environment. Our successful cooperation is further supporting the absorption of EU funds in Romania, considering more than 75% of EIB funds are allocated to projects developed with EU financing”, he concluded. In 22 years the Romanian banks have intermediated loans of EUR 822 M from the funds provided by EIB, namely only 4.7 percent of the total funds offered in the last three years to Central and Eastern European banks for corporate financing, Mediafax reports.