CEB Governor on official visit to Bulgaria, signs €20 million agreement to support MSMEs
12 June 2018
SOFIA - The Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Rolf Wenzel, concluded today an official visit to Bulgaria. During his visit, he met with members of the government and signed a framework loan agreement with Raiffeisen Leasing Bulgaria to provide a credit line to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).Governor Wenzel met with the Minister of Finance, Vladislav Goranov, and the Deputy Minister of Economy, Alexander Manolev. The Governor also attended a meeting with the Chairman of the Management Board and Executive Director of the Bulgarian Development Bank (BDB), Stoyan Mavrodiev. In addition to exchanging views on current economic affairs, they discussed the CEB’s mandate and role in advancing social cohesion in Europe as well as Bulgaria’s public investment needs with a view to strengthening cooperation with the CEB in the future.
Governor Wenzel said: “I thank the Bulgarian government for their hospitality. Today, in consecutive meetings with Minister Goranov and Deputy Minister Manolev, and also with Mr Mavrodiev, I had the opportunity to outline the activities of the CEB in a range of social sectors across Europe. Together we explored ways of expanding the fruitful cooperation between the CEB and Bulgaria so we can continue to give our full support to social development throughout the country.”In Sofia, Governor Wenzel and the Deputy CEO of Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria Dobromir Dobrev signed a €20 million framework loan agreement to support the partial lease financing of micro, small, and medium-sized (MSME) productive investments. The extensive network of branches of Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria will allow the bank to respond to the financing needs of a large number of MSMEs, enabling them to develop and expand their business operations. CEB funds will have a positive impact on job creation and preservation, which is one of the key objectives of the CEB.
“This framework loan agreement will unblock access to financing for many Bulgarian MSMEs and will help to create new jobs at a time when job creation and preservation is a focus area for governments across Europe and a priority for the CEB. We are pleased to be cooperating with Raiffeisen Leasing Bulgaria in this endeavour,” said the Governor.Since becoming a member of the CEB in 1994, Bulgaria has received financing for 23 social projects totalling almost €700 million. The areas which have benefited from CEB loans include healthcare, social housing, the protection of the environment, and especially the creation and preservation of viable jobs through the support of MSMEs.
Set up in 1956, the CEB (Council of Europe Development Bank) has 41 member states. Twenty-two Central, Eastern and South Eastern European countries, forming the Bank's target countries, are listed among the member states. As a major instrument of the policy of solidarity in Europe, the Bank finances social projects by making available resources raised in conditions reflecting the quality of its rating (Aa1 with Moody's, outlook stable, AA+ with Standard & Poor's, outlook positive and AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook stable). It thus grants loans to its member states, and to financial institutions and local authorities in its member states for the financing of projects in the social sector, in accordance with its Articles of Agreement.