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SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Feb. 7) - The European Investment Bank has started discussions with a local bank to establish a 10 million Euro (FJ$21.3 million) credit facility for small and medium businesses.

Bank Pacific operations manager Jean Phillippe de Jong said as a result of discussions with the Fiji Development Bank, a proposal was being drawn up for the EIB management.

de Jong said with Fiji attracting a lot of attention for future developments and the bank searching for strong financial intermediaries in the Pacific to manage its investment facilities, they were placing a lot of interest in the discussions.

Questions faxed to FDB chief executive Tukana Bovoro remained unanswered yesterday.

"It is part of the bank’s objectives to focus on the development of any ACP country’s private sector," de Jong said. "We focus on strengthening the financial sector and providing investment facilities to strong financial intermediaries that will be made available to the private sector in the form of small and medium-sized businesses."

He said EIB had credit facilities provided by designated intermediaries in 14 ACP-member countries.

He said with their credit facilities targeting industry, tourism and productive infrastructure. It is a long-term scheme designed to develop all aspects of business in the country’s private sector.

de Jong said if the proposal to be presented to the EIB managers in March was approved, all businesses in Fiji would have access to technical and financial assistance from the bank.

February 8, 2005

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