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7 December 2000.

EIB LOAN OF 70 MILLION EURO TO THE DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTIONS OF THE EU MEMBER STATES

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the financing institution of the European Union (EU), is opening a line of credit of EUR 70 million (1) from the Bank’s own resources, for the bi-lateral European Development Finance Institutions (EDFI) (2) of the EU Member States.

This operation will support the EDFI’s lending activities to private-sector enterprises in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries signatories of the Lomé Convention, the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT), as well as in the Republic of South Africa (RSA). The finance contracts for this operation were signed in Luxembourg today.

The scheme is expected to have a catalytic effect in encouraging the EDFI institutions to invest their own resources in projects alongside funds from the EIB. Stimulation of private sector investment will increase employment and export earnings, and forms part of the EU’s co-operation programmes in the post-Lomé period to support economic growth. In support of this policy, the EIB is to give priority to private sector projects under the future Investment Facility.

The EDFI are a group of European development banks specialising in providing long-term finance, by way of equity or loans, to private-sector enterprises in developing countries. They have established an association with a permanent secretariat in Brussels. This operation with EDFI is set up against the background of the concerted policy of the EU Member States and the EU Commission to strengthen collaboration and co-operation between the various actors in the European Union’s development programme. The line of credit just approved is the third EIB operation providing finance to EDFI institutions for their activities in the ACP and OCT countries. The line of credit will be, for the first time, open to operations in the RSA, thus allowing EDFI institutions to have access to Rands for their lending activities in this country.

Mr. Luigi Dante, General Manager of Simest and EDFI President, said: “I am pleased to sign this new loan which continues the process of strengthening EDFI’s ties with EIB. The combination of EDFI’s experience and contacts in the developing world with EIB’s expertise and financial strength constitute a powerful force for development in ACP countries. I look forward to further collaboration between EDFI and EIB”

For further information about the EDFI’s activities, please contact EDFI office in Brussels (Mrs. De Beir, tel. +32.2.234.67.01) or visit its Web Site at http://www.edfi.be

Press Release

Luxembourg, 7 December 2000

European Development
Finance Institutions – EEIG
Rue d’Arlon 21
B-1050 Brussels