- The agreement will help foster innovation and climate action, improve rural infrastructure and strengthen SME competitiveness
- Taken together, the investments under this programme will make it possible to create around 10 600 jobs during the implementation phase, according to EIB estimates
- The first EUR 80m tranche of this financing was signed today in Valencia
The European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide EUR 270m in financing to the Valencia Region on favourable terms, with a view to helping develop the investments being implemented in the region under various EU funding programmes for the 2014-2020 period. EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro and Minister of Finance and Economic Model for the Valencia Region Vicent Soler signed the initial, EUR 80m tranche of this financing today. The aim of the agreement is to promote the competitiveness and sustainability of the Valencian economy and foster job creation.
With this loan, the EIB will join forces with the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) to co-finance various initiatives to boost innovation, support SMEs and adopt measures helping to improve energy efficiency and promote renewable energy, sustainable transport and environmental protection.
In concrete terms, the research, development and innovation (RDI) investments will enable researchers working in the Valencia Region to take part in 1 700 international projects. Information and communication technology (ICT) investments will help continue projects to roll out high-speed internet connections in areas lacking this service, and to modernise the ICT infrastructure of government agencies.
Another of the objectives of the EIB financing is to support SMEs to strengthen the regional productive framework. Some of the funds will go towards the innovation investments of Valencian companies, helping them to become more competitive and to internationalise their business, promoting sustainable economic growth.
Under this programme, priority will be given to investments facilitating the transition to a low-carbon economy, via projects enabling more efficient use of energy sources and natural resources.
These investments – some of which are already being implemented – will contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation by way of projects such as the construction of four new wastewater treatment plants and the modernisation of irrigation systems (to improve energy and water use efficiency), as well as of agro-forestry and fire-prevention infrastructure. Investments will also be made to improve the sustainability of public transport and energy efficiency in public buildings.
Taken together, EIB calculations indicate that all the investments put in place thanks to the allocation of EU funds and the provision of EIB finance will lead to the creation of over 10 600 new jobs during the implementation phase of the different projects and around 850 permanent positions. The operational programme includes educational investments to improve dual vocational training and to facilitate the return of unemployed people to the job market.
“These investments – focused on bolstering the sustainability and competitiveness of the Valencian economy – will be of particular benefit to those living in rural areas, thereby contributing to territorial balance within the region,” said EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro at the signing ceremony in Valencia today. “The people of Valencia will be the main beneficiaries of this agreement. This is why we are delighted to combine our financing with EU funds to support projects with a direct impact on strategic sectors of the Valencian economy and that help create jobs and economic growth, while also promoting climate action.”
Stronger cooperation between the EIB and the Government of Valencia
This financing operation is being conducted on favourable financial terms for the Government of Valencia. Minister of Finance and Economic Model for the Valencia Region Vicent Soler highlighted the fact that “this financing is the result of the ongoing, decades-old partnership between the European Investment Bank and the Government of Valencia, and strengthens the interest that such an important EU institution as the EIB brings to the Valencia Region.”