CEB supports job creation in “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”
22 June 2016
PARIS – The Administrative Council of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) approved at its meeting of 17 June a programme loan to ProCredit Bank Macedonia in order to provide financing to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”.
In recent years, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” has taken a series of measures to tackle unemployment. Even though the unemployment rate was reduced from 37% in 2004 to 26% in 2015, it still remains high.
The MSME sector plays a crucial role in the country’s efforts to bolster economic growth, and MSMEs are a major driver of employment: they provide over 76% of all jobs in the country and generate about 70% of GDP added value.
The CEB loan, which follows two earlier loans approved in 2008 and 2011, will contribute to the country’s efforts to create sustainable growth by strengthening the competitiveness of MSMEs and by fostering the creation of new permanent and seasonal jobs.
The CEB aims to reach small businesses which have restricted access to credit or are underserved by traditional bank financing. Funds will be channelled to end-beneficiaries through ProCredit Macedonia, which has a long experience in managing MSME credit lines and benefits from a network that covers the whole country.The funds provided by the CEB, which are expected to reach at least 65 eligible businesses spread across the country, will be used to finance productive investment projects for the acquisition of machinery, equipment, vehicles, office and manufacturing premises, and production installations.
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 stable 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.