February 22, 2019
The European Investment Bank (EIB) vice president for Portugal, Emma Navarro, said that support for Portuguese small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) remains the highest priority.
“Supporting small and medium-sized enterprises remains our top priority in Portugal” said Emma Navarro at a press conference, adding that SMEs are” the mainstay of the Portuguese economy and the largest source of employment “in the country.
“I am confident that 2019 will be a positive year for Portugal,” she added. Noting that support for SMEs amounted to more than 900 million euros in 2018, Emma Navarro said that this value was made possible by collaboration with “local partners” such as the Development Finance Institution, better known as a development bank.
In addition to working with SMEs, Emma Navarro also expressed the conviction that 2019 will focus on environmental issues. In 2018, EIB financing for climate action in Portugal reached 41% of the Bank’s total activity in the country, while in 2017 the percentage was 10% and in 2016 it amounted to 8%.
The vice president of the institution pointed out that Portugal “was one of the few countries” in which the bank’s activity increased in 2018, and that in terms of the bank´s general activity, “the focus has changed from supporting the recovery to supporting competitiveness.”
In 2018, EIB financing, both through the bank and the European Investment Fund (EIF), amounted to EUR 1,979 million, of which 904 were for SMEs, 503 for environmental projects, 499 for infrastructure and 73 for innovation.
With regards to the Juncker Plan, Portugal is the third country to have benefited most (in relation to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)) from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) which was launched four years ago
Portugal ranks third, after Greece and Estonia, in the financing of the EFSI in terms of GDP, with € 2.5 billion approved, which is expected to generate more than € 8.7 billion in investments.