- New EBRD credit line of €20 million to ProCredit Bank Kosovo
- New finance for SME investments in sustainable, green technologies
- Bank to extend an additional €5 million under its Trade Facilitation Programme
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is extending a fresh credit line to ProCredit Bank Kosovo, giving small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Kosovo the opportunity to reboot their businesses after the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
ProCredit Bank Kosovo will on-lend the €20 million in credit to small firms, enabling them to invest in better-performing green technologies and to improve their working standards and processes. These investments should make Kosovan SMEs compliant with European Union and international standards, boosting their competitiveness in the domestic market and abroad.
The SMEs will also benefit from grant incentives worth up to 15 per cent of the loan amount to make their investments more affordable. The grants will be funded by Norway, Luxembourg and the United States of America, and other donors are expected to participate.
The EBRD is further extending up to €5 million to ProCredit Bank Kosovo under its Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP) with the aim of helping local SMEs to boost foreign trade and integrate into international markets. The facility will help to address the increase in demand for trade finance resulting from disruptions to the global supply chain caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso, who was on an official visit to Kosovo and signed the agreement with ProCredit, said: “We are very pleased that again together with ProCredit Bank in Kosovo we can extend new financing to local SMEs. The credit line will facilitate access to well-structured finance for small businesses, helping them invest in modern technologies to become more sustainable.”
Eriola Bibolli, General Manager of ProCredit Bank Kosovo, said: “The signing of today’s contract to extend new finance to local SMEs reflects the joint commitment and shared principles of both institutions in promoting and supporting sustainable growth investments, raising the competitiveness of our SME clients on local and international markets”.
The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the Kosovan SME sector hard, hindering growth and investment plans. With their small size and restricted access to funding, SMEs have been less resilient and less able to deal with the extra costs brought about by the pandemic, changes in work processes and underutilised labour, among other things. This has prompted SMEs to shift their priorities away from investing in sustainable growth towards survival and defence.
The credit line is part of the EBRD’s new SME Reboot Programme to support small firms’ recovery from the pandemic-induced slowdown. ProCredit Kosovo is the first bank in the country to join the programme, which will encourage SMEs to go beyond business as usual and invest in modern and sustainable technologies. Around 70 per cent of programme funding will be allocated to investments in energy-saving and green technologies, while the remainder will support investments in automation, increased productivity, product quality and safety.
ProCredit Bank Kosovo is a key provider of SME finance in Kosovo, adhering to sustainable and impact-oriented banking practices. It is owned by ProCredit Holding AG & Co KGaA, the parent company of the development-oriented ProCredit group, comprising commercial banks for SMEs with an operational focus in southeastern and eastern Europe.
The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Kosovo, with total financing of nearly €600 million committed to date.