The FINANCIAL — The European Investment Bank (EIB) lends EUR 400 million to Ukraine to finance projects implemented primarily by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and middle capitalization companies (Mid-caps) in the agri-food sector, in order to help the country benefit from the opportunities offered by the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) established by the Association Agreement with the European Union.
At the signing ceremony, Heinz Olbers, EIB’s Director for Operations in Neighbourhood Countries, stated: “The future of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people remains of utmost importance to the EU and to the EIB. The loan signed today will support the agri-food sector, which is of great significance for Ukraine, given its long tradition and competitive advantages in this sector. The loan project has been designed to remove key bottlenecks in investments that will help Ukrainian enterprises realise their competitive potential on national and global markets”.
Prime Minister of Ukraine, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, commented: “Through its support to Ukrainian agri-food SMEs in upgrading production and processing technologies and developing new storage and logistics capacity, this loan will help Ukrainian SMEs respond to the historic opening of EU markets to Ukrainian produce and to the ongoing approximation of Ukrainian national standards to EU norms”.
Potential beneficiaries of these EIB funds will include input suppliers, farmers, processors, storage and logistics operators, as well as testing laboratories, research and education institutions and extension services that contribute to the functioning of target value chains. The EIB loan will be made available through the Government of Ukraine, and is expected to be supported further by the EU through grants made available through its Neighbourhood Investment Facility, according to EU Neighbourhood Info.