Last year, the European Investment Bank provided €230 mln for investment in Cyprus, equivalent to 1.04% of GDP, the highest EIB ratio than anywhere in the EU.
“2019 has been a particularly good year for our activities here,” said EIB President Werner Hoyer after meeting President Nicos Anastasiades in Nicosia.
“Last year, the EIB group provided €230 mln for investment in Cyprus or 1.04% of the country’s GDP. Nowhere in the EU is this ratio higher than here in Cyprus,” he added.
Anastasiades discussed with Hoyer a series of projects the government intends to launch with the bank’s support.
Hoyer was certain that the very close cooperation between Cyrus and the EIB can be further enhanced and strengthened.
Afterwards, Deputy Government Spokesman Panayiotis Sentonas said Cyprus and the EIB have cooperated for the last 39 years with the value of loans estimated at € 4 bln.
Around €1.7 bln of this lending or 43% of the total occurred after the 2013 financial crisis.
The President thanked Hoyer for EIB contribution to Cyprus, particularly during the bailout crisis.
Projects for which the government intends to secure EIB funding include the LNG terminal at Vassiliko, research and innovation projects, investment to cope with climate change and social housing projects.
Hoyer said he discussed with President Anastasiades ways the EIB can help Cypriot businesses to grow and improve key services.
He noted that last year, the EIB adopted a new energy lending policy, adding that renewables and the energy efficiency sector play a more important role for the bank’s lending practice in Cyprus.
The EIB is currently considering new support for power generation to significantly reduce dependency on oil, as well as for small businesses, climate action, high-speed internet access and online financial services investment in Cyprus.
Hoyer visited the English School, in Nicosia, providing education to Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot students, as part of the bank’s support for new investment at 213 schools across the island.
Due to EU sanctions against Turkey for illegal activity in the Eastern Mediterranean, Hoyer said that lending to Turkey was considerably reduced to almost €120 mln in 2019, from €2 bln the year before.
“We have listened to the European Council,” he said, noting that EU leaders encouraged the EIB to stay in dialogue with Turkey.
Hoyer added: “Our response has been quite clear.”