European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to provide a €20 million loan to the Maldives to help sustain SMEs operating in the tourism and industry sectors of the Maldives.
The loan is a part of the efforts to speed up the post-COVID-19 economic recovery of the Maldives and improve access to finance and reinforce the local banking sector. The loan agreement was signed by Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer on behalf of the Maldives government. The EIB funds will be disbursed to local SMEs through Maldives National Bank, Bank of Maldives (BML).
This is the first COVID-19-related operation of the EU bank in Asia, and a part of its €5.2 billion support package for countries outside the EU.
EIB Vice-President Andrew McDowell said the EIB is happy for the opportunity to support robust economic growth in the Maldives and help the country improve its macroeconomic outlooks in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. He said that the loan will support local SMEs, sustain jobs, and have a positive impact on the stability of the local financial market, and help recover the Maldives economy faster.
Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer said the people of Maldives appreciates the swift support provided by the EIB during its time of crisis. The gesture underscores the close relationship between the EU and the people of Maldives. The facility approved will contribute immensely to the government's efforts to support local businesses and protect livelihood during the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic downturn.