The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) plans to extend around 200 million euro ($275 million) in financing for projects in Bulgaria this year, on par with the resource disbursed in 2013, the lender’s country director for Bulgaria said.
The funds the bank will provide to Bulgaria this year will be mainly allocated to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), start-ups, local manufacturers, agribusiness companies and energy efficiency projects, Daniel Berg told news agency SeeNews in an emailed interview.
EBRD’s operations in Bulgaria in 2013 focused mainly on support for local manufacturers and agribusiness companies and on backing energy efficiency projects through tailor-made facilities while also working with equity funds to reach out to smaller companies and start-ups. The country strategy under which Bulgaria currently receives financing from the bank was adopted in 2011. A new four-year country strategy will be prepared this year and will be put into effect as of 2015.
Under the new programme, EBRD may increase its funding for the Bulgarian Fund for Local Authorities and Governments (FLAG) under which Bulgarian municipalities receive financing for projects of regional importance. However, whether and how much FLAG’s funds would be increased depends on many factors, including whether the project meets the EBRD’s traditional conditions of transition, additionality and sound banking.