AFD’s operations in the French Overseas Communities reach record level in 2011.
EUR 1.1bn, up 16% on 2010. 2011 confirms the extent to which the French Overseas Communities are important for AFD. This is expressed not only by the record level of commitment authorizations for public and private sectors, social housing and regional cooperation, but also by AFD’s extensive support and advisory activities for local authorities.
Une résilience plus grande qu'en métropole grâce à la présence de l'AFD
Greater resilience than in mainland France thanks to AFD’s presence
In 2011, the crisis disrupted financing for French local authority investments because the banking sector became more reluctant to make long-term commitments.
AFD’s presence and operations in all the French Overseas Communities played a key role in maintaining available resources for public investments, meaning that there were less financing constraints than in mainland France. Its loans to the local public sector rose by 40%.
They allowed the French Overseas Communities to successfully conduct projects for spatial planning, greater social cohesion and environmental preservation. The result: French Overseas local authorities are today more resilient to the crisis than their counterparts in mainland France.
Boosting public procurement and supporting local companies
AFD’s range of loans for the public sector boosted public procurement and benefited local companies. The latter were also able to take advantage of the financial products offered by AFD.
The activity of the guarantee funds remains high, notably that of the DOM Fund for the French Overseas Communities, which is tailored to very small businesses and SMEs.
New loans, directly allocated to businesses under bank cofinancing, were set up in 2011 to finance medium- to large-scale investment projects. Several businesses benefited from this €27m of financing, which was mainly allocated to photovoltaic solar energy projects.
OSEO, represented in the French Overseas Communities by AFD, doubled its support for innovation in one year.
Finally, the representation activity of the public establishment OSEOin the French Overseas Communities was strengthened for products to support innovation: the amount allocated is double that of 2010.
[Private sector film: An illustration of AFD’s support to businesses in the French Overseas Communities through two examples in Martinique and French Polynesia]
AFD’s activity goes well beyond its range of financial tools.
Prior to projects, its experts in sectors as diverse as water and sanitation, education, health and local authority management, provide support and advice which is appreciated by both the public sector and business owners. An official from the French Guiana education authoritygives an example: “AFD helps us by offering technical assistance to municipalities considered as priorities for school facilities. Its experts work with city halls, district inspectors and head teachers to assessneeds for the construction and refurbishment of buildings”.
For 2012: housing and regional cooperation
AFD is scaling up its support in the housing and urban development sector. It is already extremely active via its shareholdings in local housing companies – SIDOMs – whose stock of rental property accounts for 50% of subsidized housing in the French Overseas Communities. Tomorrow, it will do more thanks to an ambitious plan for the housing currently being built.
Emphasis will also be placed on regional cooperation, notably boosting trade ties and promoting the management of regional public goods.
Indeed, AFD is the only French public institution to be active in both the French Overseas Communities and the neighboring developing countries.