The European Investment Bank (EIB) Group invested €507 million ($639 million) in Croatia in 2018, the Luxembourg-based lender said on Tuesday (April 30), with a focus on transport, energy, infrastructure and social sectors.
EIB is the lending arm of the European Union owned by its member countries.
For the same period, EIB's subsidiary, the European Investment Fund (EIF), invested another €63 million in 262 small and medium-sized enterprises and mid-caps in the country thus helping sustaining 3,372 jobs.
These activities raised the number of jobs sustained from EIB backed projects in Croatia, between 2009 and 2018 alone, to 227,287.
In addition, in 2018 EIB signed €196.5 million of new investments under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), a fund aiming to revive investment in strategic projects around Europe. This has brought the total amount of investments related to EFSI approvals in Croatia close to €1 billion.
EIB's lending in Croatia reached €444 million through six projects related to investments in the services sector and tourism infrastructure, green energy projects in Zagreb, composite infrastructure, as well as the Rimac Automobili company, which manufactures electric hypercars.
The loan will allow Rimac to further develop its electric driving technologies and support their transformation into a technology solutions provider for electric vehicles and an industrial-scale producer of components for the global automotive sector, EIB said in a statement.
The bank also said that in 2018 Croatia received €300 million from the EIB in the second, and final, portion of a €600 million loan designed to speed up the implementation and ensure the success of various Cohesion Policy projects in the country.
On the other hand, the bank received a €500,000 contribution from Croatia for its Economic Resilience Initiative (ERI) programme which supports job creation and infrastructure investments in Bosnia and Herzegovina and other Western Balkan countries.
ERI supports countries in the EU’s Southern Neighborhood and Western Balkans to tackle migration and other challenges by stimulating investments in jobs creation and services like energy, transport, water, sanitation and education. In doing so, the EIB initiative increases economic and social resilience of target countries and helps them to better deal with future crises and shocks, while maintaining stronger growth.
The EIB has worked with Croatia since 1977 and has provided the country with over EUR 4.7 billion affordable and long-term financing for 72 projects, creating job opportunities and boosting growth.