The EIB has extended its first loan to Croatia since the country’s accession to the EU.

A financing package of €250mn has been given to the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) for the financing of projects undertaken by SMEs and midcap companies in Croatia. In particular, it’s expected that projects in the public sector infrastructure and private sector energy, environmental, health and educational sectors will benefit most.

Croatia joined the EU on July 1, but has been a recipient of EIB funds since 2001, as it readied itself to ascend to the union. It’s expected that membership of the EU will act as a boon to the economy – despite the union’s ongoing financial woes.

Koraljka Perutka Fabijanić, a spokesperson for HBOR, tells GTR that tourism, food, wood processing and fishing are the industries expected to benefit most. She says the Croatian banking sector is “stable owing to the profitability and capital adequacy accumulated in the period before the crisis”.

Speaking of the trade finance activities of Croatia’s commercial banking sector, she continues: “Commercial banks provide financial support to Croatian exporters primarily by granting loans for the financing of working capital. HBOR, as the state export bank and export credit agency, provides working capital for pre-shipment finance, finances buyers of Croatian goods and services abroad and provides insurance for the collection of payment for export transactions.”