EBRD and EU under € 7.1 million risk-sharing facility with OTP Bank to support Albanian tourism and agribusiness
TIRANA (Albania), December 8 (SeeNews) – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has said that together with the Albanian government and the European Union, it pledges up to 7.1 million euros ($ 8.0 million) in loans to Albanian agribusiness and tourism businesses, sharing the risk with its partner bank, OTP Bank Albania.
“The funds will be provided through the Albanian Agribusiness and Tourism Support Facility (AATSF), a framework aimed at improving access to finance for small and medium enterprises,” the EBRD said in a statement. Tuesday.
The facility also includes a 10% investment incentive for sub-borrowers in the agro-industry and tourism sectors, funded by the government of Albania and the EU respectively. It will also benefit from a first loss risk coverage mechanism supported by the State.
Up to 180 million euros have been allocated to date under the AATSF for specialized lines of credit and risk-sharing facilities through local partner banks. Since its launch in 2016, more than 70 million euros in loans have been committed, benefiting more than 6,100 local agro-industrial SMEs.
The AATSF complements the EU Instrument for Pre-accession Rural Development Assistance (IPARD), which has channeled funding to many beneficiaries through the AATSF.
Agribusiness is a vital sector of the Albanian economy, as it employs over 50% of the population in rural areas and accounts for around 20% of the national gross domestic product (GDP), the statement added. Yet the sector remains underserved by financial institutions.
Tourism has become a strategic sector for growth and employment and is a key factor for Albania’s long-term sustainable growth and competitiveness. However, the tourism sector faces similar constraints in terms of access to finance, especially in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and the deadly earthquake of 2019, according to the EBRD.
($ = 0.884 euros)