Additional €10 million secured for small and medium-sized enterprises in Macedonia

Additional €10 million are provided for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through the Enterprise Development and Innovation Platform in Western Balkans, it was announced Thursday.

It includes loans of up to €500,000 for which companies can apply under very favorable conditions. They are due for payment after ten years and interest rate is reduced by 0.25%.

The loans are intended exclusively for small and medium-sized enterprises to open chances to prosper further and to open new jobs, Deputy PM Vladimir Pesevski said.

"I'm confident that many small and medium-sized enterprises will see the benefit from this instrument to invest in technology development, quality products and services and better competitiveness, not only locally but also regionally and even beyond that," Deputy PM Pesevski told a news conference in Skopje.

An analysis has shown that SMEs are the ones in need of loans to focus on business and innovations, said Hubert Cottogni, manager at the European Investment Funds (EIF).

"We have offered a portfolio under which loses of the enterprises of up to 70% would be covered. This guarantee is for free. In fact, we are taking over the risks of SMEs. They won't be expected to show so many guarantees in order to be awarded the loans. With this, we want to contribute to their growth and development," stated Cottogni.

Macedonia is one of the first signatories of the Platform through which €140 million is offered to companies in the region.