Italy approves €33.2 mln for development of Serbia’s private sector

Serbian Minister of Finance Mladjan Dinkic said today upon the signing of an agreement for beginning of realisation of a Italian government’s €33.2 million loan for development of Serbia’s private sector that Italy is the major importer of Serbia’s products.

Speaking at a press conference held after the signing ceremony, Dinkic said that Serbia exported goods worth €150 million to Italy in the first four months of the year, which means that Italy and Bosnia-Herzegovina are Serbia’s major importers.

According to Dinkic, this year’s export in the first four months is by €60 million larger then in the same period last year, which is the best proof of the positive effect of the last year’s symposium of Italian businessmen „Italy in Belgrade 2004“.

The financial agreement between representatives of the Republic of Serbia and the Italian government’s agent Artigiancassa SpA became effective on June 16, fulfilling conditions for the beginning of realisation of the €33.2 million loan.

The loan’s funds will be forwarded to intermediary banks: Delta Bank, Eksim Bank and Komercijalna Bank through the National Bank of Serbia, for the purpose of financing small and medium sized enterprises.

The Minister of Finance explained that the amount of individual loans for small and medium sized enterprises will range from €50,000 to €1 million, with a 4.9 annual inflation rate, the repayment period of up to eight years and the grace period of up to two years.

Dinkic explained that loan beneficiaries are required to use at least 70 percent of each individual loan for purchasing equipment, spare parts, technology and industrial licences from Italy, whereas the remaining funds can be used to cover expenses in the country, such as working assets and goods needed for the project’s realisation.