European Investment Fund (EIF) and Banca Intesa AD Beograd signed the first contract in Serbia under the COSME Programme for the SMEs at a ceremony held today in Belgrade.
Thanks to the financial support of the European Commission, the EIF provided a direct guarantee which will enable Banca Intesa in the next two years to support 3,000 SMEs in Serbia with €60m loan on favourable terms – with a longer repayment period and without a mortgage as collateral. Minister of Economy Goran Knežević said that Serbia was increasingly turning to development and that the Government of Serbia puts SMEs and entrepreneurship in the focus, since they are seen as the bearers of development. EU Ambassador to Serbia Michael Davenport said that it is known that SMEs are “the backbone” of any economy today and stressed that Serbia was no exception. Pier Luigi Ghilibert said: “Today’s agreement with Banca Intesa represents another important step for small and medium enterprises in Serbia. Sixty million is a significant amount that will contribute to improving the overall investment climate in Serbia. “