In Paris on Wednesday April 21, AFD and IDF signed two financing agreements combining a €50 million credit line and a €400,000 assistance grant, as part of a program to support and promote green and climate investment projects led by Montenegrin SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and municipalities. The program also aims to contribute to the emergence and growth of projects supporting a sustainable post-Covid-19 economic recovery in the most vulnerable regions of the country, promoting balanced territorial development, through specific support schemes for entrepreneurs in the areas concerned.
This is the first AFD loan signed in the region, following the recent opening in Belgrade of its regional office covering the six Western Balkan countries. The signing took place in the presence of Montenegrin Foreign Minister Đorđe Radulović, during his official visit to Paris, and Clément Beaune, Secretary of State for European Affairs, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs. They signed the intergovernmental agreement on AFD Group activities in Montenegro.
“With both social and climate components, this program offers an integrated response to the requirements of our clients,” said Irena Radović, Executive Director of IDF. “It provides tailored technical and financial assistance, which will provide support on the path to an ecological transition and a sustainable economic revival, and assures access to financing, which will help overcome challenges related to the post-Covid economic recovery. I am very pleased with this first partnership with AFD, which is the beginning of a long-term cooperation between our two institutions”.
Christian Thimonier, Ambassador of France to Montenegro said, "This financing is in line with France's strategy for the Western Balkans. It is also part of France’s broader approach to supporting Montenegro’s ambitions and commitments in terms of climate change, protecting the environment, sustainable economic and social development, as well as being in line with its European perspective. It reflects and contributes to the reinforcement of bilateral relations between our two countries, supported by the highest authorities of the State.”
Jean-Pierre Marcelli, AFD's Executive Director of Operations, is delighted with "the launch of this program, which is the result of a fruitful strategic and operational dialogue established with IDF. This initiative demonstrates AFD's expertise in climate finance and our ability to provide concrete and suitable support to partners for a post-Covid recovery on a trajectory compatible with the SDGs and the Paris Agreement. We will continue to invest vigorously in the coming months and years on these key issues in Montenegro and the Western Balkans, through financing and technical tools mobilized by AFD Group."
On AFD in Montenegro and the Western Balkans
AFD is a public financial institution and the pivotal operator implementing the French Government’s official development assistance policy. Present in the Western Balkans since 2019 through its Belgrade-based Regional Office, AFD has been given a mandate to support countries in the region to meet EU standards and implement the Paris Agreement on climate change for an inclusive and low-carbon growth trajectory. From 2019, more than €300 million was committed by AFD in different Western Balkans countries, most of them in partnership with International Finance Institutions.
AFD Group is already present in Montenegro through its subsidiary Proparco, which is dedicated to the private sector (co-financing of the Krnovo wind farm), and its subsidiary Expertise France. In this way, AFD Group is completing a range of operations with this first financing instalment for Montenegrin SMEs.
To respond to the needs of its clients and partners, AFD can mobilize a wide range of financing measures, including public policy loans to support reform programs linked to the EU accession process and investment loans to finance infrastructure conducive to greener and sustainable growth. Financing also includes loans for natural risk coverage; Credit lines and guarantees through the banking sector to support SMEs; private sector financing via its subsidiary Proparco; technical assistance through the financing of feasibility studies, peer-to-peer cooperation and expertise. AFD is also a member of the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) and is accredited by the European Commission to manage funds and projects under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA).
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