New development branch launched by European Investment Bank

By Susanna Gevorgyan

New development branch launched by European Investment Bank

With ambitious goals on its agenda targeted towards better economic resilience, climate stability, peace, and gender equality, the European Investment Bank launched a new development branch at the beginning of the year, aiming to offer finance to countries outside the European Union. This initiative was introduced to support individuals to combat difficulties related to poverty and inequality.

The European Investment Bank, an EU lending institution dedicated to endorsing innovations, digital technologies, green energy, and emission reduction all around the world, has called the new development finance arm EIB Global. According to the institution, the challenges that countries are currently facing are global and the pandemic has only served to confirm that. No country will be able to succeed in the fight against the virus unless all countries succeed so, adopting the same logic, the solutions should also be globally accessible. Therefore, EIB Global is expected to mobilize all the resources of the institution for operations beyond European Union borders.

EIB Global is seeking to improve its collaboration with clients and partners to support people from all around the world. At the EIB Group’s 2022 annual press conference Werner Hoyer highlighted:

“As a first step of an evolving business model for higher impact we will expand our local presence around the world. We already have roughly 30 offices worldwide beyond the borders of the EU. We plan to add many others, housed within EU delegations wherever possible, as is already the practice.”

The institution is currently a leading lender to small businesses in the Western Balkans where it supports about 30,000 companies. As a result of EIB’s actions, over 1,800 schools in Serbia now have faster internet and better digital equipment which allowed teachers to deliver online classes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Vice-President of the European Investment Bank, Lilyana Pavlova, noted: “The establishment of the new dedicated arm, EIBGlobal will increase our financial and technical support for the Western Balkans, reinforce our partnerships and fast-forward sustainable development and EU integration of the region.”

EIB Global aims to help local communities to fight the challenges they face. For instance, in Latin America countries, where people struggle with gender equality issues, the institution supports women-led businesses. Meanwhile in those parts of the world where people have no access to banks, EIB Global plans to assist local microfinance institutions. At the same time, it aims to establish regional hubs to distribute financing more quickly and in local currencies. The first regional hub has been established in Nairobi, Kenya, and in other African countries, EIB Global supports people to gain access to clean water, electricity, and a healthcare system.

The EIB Group, operating in over 160 countries around the world, invested €8.1 billion in financing operations in countries outside of the European Union in 2021. Overall, since 1958, the EIB has provided over €1.5 trillion to finance 14,400 projects beyond the EU borders.