EBRD lends € 20 million to UniCredit Leasing Serbia to support SMEs
BELGRADE (Serbia), April 16 (SeeNews) – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced that it is providing a loan of 20 million euros ($ 23.9 million) to UniCredit Leasing Serbia for support local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in improving their competitiveness.
The loan will give Serbian SMEs access to finance, enabling them to go beyond their day-to-day operations and invest in improvements to meet EU standards, the EBRD said in a statement on Thursday. .
SMEs can use the funds to improve technology, processes or services, especially those related to product quality, health and safety and EU environmental requirements, the EBRD said.
âAccess to well-structured financial and advisory support can encourage local businesses to invest in strengthening their competitiveness, and we’ve seen how this can help local businesses become champions. That is why we remain united with our partners, the European Union and the Serbian Ministry of Economy, in our aim to further improve access to finance for SMEs in Serbia â, said Zsuzsanna Hargitai, Director EBRD regional for the Western Balkans and head of Serbia, in the statement.
SMEs can also obtain technical assistance, including advisory support from the EBRD, and upon successful completion of their investment, they will be eligible for a cash back of 15% of the total loan amount, both of which are financed by the ‘European Union (EU).
“We are very pleased that half of the total loan amount supports investments in green technologies and energy efficiency, which is in line with UniCredit’s strategic commitment to creating sustainable value,” said Ana Milic, CEO of UniCredit Leasing Serbia.
Investments will be channeled through the Western Balkans SME Competitiveness Support Program, to which the EBRD provides loans and the EU provides incentive payments and technical assistance. The aim is to help SMEs modernize their activities and take advantage of business opportunities in the Western Balkans region and in the wider European market.
($ = 0.83549 euro)