The European Investment Bank (EIB), the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced during the World Bank / International Monetary Fund Annual Meetings that they are well on their way to meeting targets for investment to stimulate economic growth in Central and South Eastern Europe, a press release informs. This is making a difference for entrepreneurs, exporters, and small- and medium-enterprises, and serves as a signal to financial markets that international financial institutions (IFIs) are leaning forward to help these countries face the challenges set off by the crisis.
The three IFIs launched their ‘Joint IFI Action Plan for Growth Central and South Eastern Europe’ in November 2012, pledging to invest a total of €30 billion in the region over the two years 2013/14.
According to their new First Report on the Joint IFI Action Plan for Growth in Central and South Eastern Europe, by the end of July 2013, the three IFIs had already made EUR 16 billion available in new lending. Results of the joint efforts have been encouraging, a reflection of the determination to share priorities and to cooperate closely on projects and initiatives.
The funding package was delivered in the context of the “Vienna Initiative”, the platform for coordination, which was launched at the height of the global economic crisis in 2008/09, and which successfully retained the engagement of international banks in emerging Europe.
So far under the 2013/14 Action Plan, the EIB has provided EUR 10.5 billion out of a total commitment of EUR 20 billion, the World Bank has provided EUR 3.1 billion from its total of EUR 6 billion and the EBRD has delivered EUR 2.5 billion, against a commitment of EUR 4 billion.
Looking forward, the IFIs will aim to keep up the momentum into 2014 and maintain their strong focus on supporting the still-fragile recovery and helping to pave the way for more sustainable future growth in the region.
In particular, the three IFIs will make sure that small- and medium-sized enterprises will have access to credit. They will also provide financing for infrastructure, energy investments, and structural reforms to make Central and South Eastern Europe more competitive.