European Investment Bank (EIB) President Werner Hoyer said on Monday that the bank is ready to support investments in Cyprus to reduce the impact and economic disruption caused by the war in Ukraine.
Speaking to the press following a meeting in Nicosia with Republic of Cyprus President Nikos Anastasiades and Finance Minister Konstantinos Petrides, Hoyer said the EIB is supporting countries affected by the war in Ukraine, such as Cyprus, and is working with national authorities, institutions and others to urgently provide financial and technical assistance to these countries and regions
“We are ready to support investments here in Cyprus to reduce the impact and economic disruption caused by the war,” he said, adding that Cyprus could also receive €4 billion in bank-approved funds for countries hosting refugees from Ukraine.
Hoyer noted that the war in Ukraine not only caused destruction in the country, but also caused economic, energy, food and tourism shocks around the world, including in Cyprus. He added that thanks to the unanimous support of 27 EIB member states, including Cyprus, the EIB was able to approve and allocate 668 million euros in immediate financial assistance to Ukraine and is ready to do more in this regard.
Regarding Cyprus, he stressed that new EIB funding for priority investments in Cyprus last year amounted to 303 million euros, up 24% from 2020.He added that Cyprus remains the largest recipient of EIB support per capita of any country in Europe, with an outstanding EIB risk of EUR 2.7 billion, or 13% of national GDP.
He also said that 2021 also represents the EIB’s largest ever involvement in Cyprus, targeting mid-caps and small businesses. He also noted that Cyprus was the first country to join the EIB’s pandemic economic response initiative called the European Guarantee Fund.
Last year, he continued, the EIB and the European Investment Fund provided 170 million euros of new targeted business financing to support investments by Cypriot companies during difficult times. This includes EIB support of €100 million for local SMEs and mid-cap companies under the second Cyprus Enterprise Scheme following the successful roll-out of the first package.
Hoyer also said that the EIB funding agreed last year included financial support for business investment, support for improved road safety across the national road network and the EIB’s largest ever financial services support in Cyprus of €15 million for insurance company Hellas. Direct.
EIB and Cyprus discuss additional investment opportunities
The Cypriot Finance Minister said they discussed new and additional investments planned in key sectors of the economy, which include new long-term financing to help SMEs and mid-cap companies overcome recent economic challenges, urban infrastructure projects, innovative projects and renewable energy. .
“In this respect, I am pleased that an agreement was reached a few days ago with the European Investment Fund on the Cyprus Equity Fund, the first publicly funded equity fund in the country,” he said.
He added that the government will continue to support and strengthen this initiative to address the challenges that Cyprus will face in the near future, and especially with regard to the transition to a green economy and independence from fossil fuels.
Petrides welcomed the support offered by the EIB to Cyprus to mitigate the economic impact of recent geopolitical developments and the evolution of the pandemic.
“As a result of close cooperation with the EIB services, in 2021 Cyprus again maintained the position of the top beneficiary country in Europe in terms of GDP in terms of EIB financing, with an increase of 24% compared to last year, which shows that the EIB is committed to and a reliable partner and supports the growth of our country in times of crisis. It is worth noting that almost half of the EIB investments in Cyprus were approved after the 2013 financial crisis,” Petrides said.
He also expressed his appreciation to the President for the EIB Group’s strong commitment to Cyprus, both through the Bank and through its subsidiary, the European Investment Fund.