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lunes, 23 de abril de 2018

New European Investment Bank loans addressed to agriculture and bioeconomy value chains

Type of post: NEWS IN BRIEF.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union. It makes finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals. Last 16th April, the EIB announced the launch of a new financing initiative addressed to the agriculture and bioeconomy sector (see press release). This EIB lending programme amounts to 400 M€ and is expected to mobilise to 1,000 M€ of investment across Europe. The operation will be guaranteed by the EU budget under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), central pillar of the Juncker Plan. It is important to mention that, in a new Regulation applicable from early 2018, the scope of EFSI was extended to include a specific sectorial focus on sustainable agriculture and bioeconomy.

Figure 1. European Investment Bank

The promotion of bioeconomy value chains is key to achieving EU objectives on the environment and the low-carbon/green economy. However, in spite of its size and importance in the overall European economy, the agriculture and bioeconomy sector is mainly made up of companies and cooperatives with relatively small investments, which are difficult to target with direct lending. The program has the potential to overcome this challenge, to fight against the issue of rural depopulation through the promotion of regional economic development and to create a multitude of jobs in predominantly rural areas and smaller towns all over the continent.

Projects allocated under the programme loan will be implemented in the period 2018-2022. Targeted investments will seek to promote the efficient and sustainable use of resources and the re-use of by-products, and to develop intellectual property through the support of private sector research, development and innovation.

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