ZAGREB, January 13, 2020 – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has granted a 100-million-euro loan to Erste Bank Croatia (EBC) for on-lending to private hospitality enterprises in Croatia and Montenegro to expand their businesses through sustainable investments in hotels and other tourism operations, EBC said on Monday.
EBC noted that it was the first financial institution to receive a credit line under the EBRD Inclusive Tourism Framework for the Eastern Mediterranean.
The framework presents a holistic approach to tourism financing, focusing on a wider, faster and more systemic impact on tourism and related sectors. It aims to improve employment opportunities for young people and women by training young people and establishing new or substantially enhanced cooperation programmes with local universities or vocational schools, and by mainstreaming equal opportunity practices and policies, as well as strengthening the development of backward linkages to local suppliers in the hospitality sector by coordinating relevant stakeholders.
The transaction was signed by EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti during a visit to Zagreb on Monday.
“We are delighted to provide much-needed capital for the sustainable growth and further development of the tourism sector in Croatia and Montenegro. Tourism is a major driver of growth in both countries and we expect this investment to open up new opportunities for local businesses as well as create new jobs. It demonstrates how our new framework will enable the EBRD to reach out to more clients, including smaller ones.”
Christoph Schoefboeck, President of the Management Board of EBC, said: “We are very pleased to become the first partner bank under the EBRD Inclusive Tourism Framework for the Eastern Mediterranean and we look forward to continuing and further deepening the longstanding and successful cooperation between our two institutions. Support for tourism is one of our fundamental strategic determinants and we believe that through this credit facility we will enable our clients to realise numerous successful projects in this segment, which will enable them to further strengthen and position themselves in the domestic as well as international markets.”
EBC is the third-largest bank in Croatia operating through a network of 128 branches. Its subsidiary in Montenegro, Erste Bank AD Podgorica, operates through a network of 17 branches.
To date, the EBRD has invested more than 3.88 billion euro in Croatia in 215 projects.
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