The CEB supports job creation, public infrastructure projects in Poland

17 March 2016

PARIS –The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) approved today two loans worth a total of € 250 million to Poland in order to support job creation and preservation and to help improve living conditions in urban and rural areas.

The first loan of € 100 million to Bank Zachodni WBK S.A., the third largest bank in Poland, aims to contribute to the creation and preservation of new permanent and seasonal jobs through strengthening the competitiveness of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

The MSME sector employs more than two-thirds of Poland’s total labour force and has been one of the reasons for the country’s sustained economic growth even during the recent financial crisis. Nevertheless, limited access to financing for MSMEs is a major barrier for the development of the sector.

The CEB funds will support small business investments in a wide range of sectors, such as construction, wholesale trade, industry and manufacturing, and will be used for the acquisition of fixed assets and productive equipment. The programme is expected to have a high socio-economic impact in terms of promoting entrepreneurship and job creation.

The second loan of € 150 million is to Bank PEKAO S.A., a leading bank in public sector financing with a regional network of almost 1 000 branches.

The funds will co-finance investments for the modernisation and improvement of the energy efficiency of urban and rural infrastructure, including public transport, schools, medical centres, and historic and cultural heritage sites. Projects in the area of environmental protection will also benefit from the CEB funds, including local water treatment and waste management projects.

The loan is expected to make a significant contribution to improving the living condition of local populations through enhancing the quality, reliability, comfort and accessibility of public services.

Since becoming a CEB member in 1998, Poland has had close to €4 billion in financing approved by the Bank. The sectors which have benefited the most are the creation and preservation of viable jobs and the modernisation of urban and rural areas, including flood protection works. Social projects in the areas of health and the protection of the physical and cultural environment have also received CEB financing.

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.