Italy’s export credit agency, Sace, has agreed a €20mn credit line with Veneto Banca to finance exports for Italian SMEs.

Companies with a turnover of under €250mn, 10% of which is made abroad, can now apply with Veneto Banca for a Sace-covered loan of 36, 60 or 84 months to grow their international expansion.

Activities that can be financed under the scheme include the acquisition, rehabilitation or replacement of equipment, promotion, advertising, research and development, acquisition of non-financial investments in foreign companies, and purchase of land, buildings or their restructuring.

Simonetta Acre, manager of Sace’s Venice office, says: “The agreement is meant precisely for SMEs, who are particularly exposed to the economic difficulties that we are watching closely today. It offers them a series of initiatives designed to make our products more flexible and accessible, so that Sace is confirmed as a natural ally of enterprises that want to strengthen the financial resources at their disposition in order to deal with a crisis that is lasting a long time. ”

“The export trend in Italy, even in an economic downturn, shows very encouraging signs: according to Istat, in the first half of 2012 compared to the same period of 2011, exports from Italian regions have grown by an average of 4.2 %. Exporting SMEs can push national production system, but we need to support the internationalisation of enterprises, especially small ones,” says Fabrizio Mora, Veneto Banca corporate manager.