State to offer 1.8 bln in 2017 to help SMEs

State to offer 1.8 bln in 2017 to help SMEs

Fund disbursements by the state to the economy will exceed 1.8 billion euros this year, Alternate Economy Minister Alexis Haritsis said on Wednesday at the presentation of the European Investment Bank’s second Trade Finance Facility (TFF) for Greece.

The EIB program, activated on Wednesday, is meant to assist small and medium-sized Greek enterprises to increase exports and secure the imports they need to grow their own businesses. The EIB will supply collateral adding up to 400 million euros.

EIB Vice President Jonathan Taylor presented the program at a special event in Athens at which Haritsis was also present. The Greek minister referred to the government’s strategic cooperation with the European lender, with the contracts signed between them totaling 2.4 billion euros. More than 1.4 billion of that has already been channeled into the Greek economy.

“In 2017 we are increasing our cooperation [with the EIB] in programs such as direct loans to small and medium-sized enterprises, investments in crucial infrastructure, support of local authorities and new significant investments in the energy sector. Disbursements this year will top 1.8 billion euros,” Haritsis said.