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SUVA, Fiji (Oceania Flash, Nov. 30) - The European Investment Bank EIB has announced the signing of a US$7.4 million soft loan for the benefit of New Caledonia's environment and renewable energies sector.

The loan was signed between EIB and New Caledonia's Investment Bank (Banque Calédonienne d’Investissement, BCI), the EIB stated on Thursday from its newly-opened Sydney office.

[PIR editor’s note: The European Investment Bank, based in Luxembourg, is the financing arm of the European Union.]

The credit line mobilisation will be subject to requests from the BCI, specifically on investment projects related to environment and the sector of renewable energies.

The projects will then be screened for approval, on a case-by-case basis.

The financial assistance is said to fall under the European Union's Pacific strategy, which promotes, among other things, a so-called ""blue-green" axis, and promotes the environment protection and the use of renewable energies.

New Caledonia (along with the other two French Pacific countries and territories, French Polynesia and Wallis and Futuna), qualify for European Union aid and subsidies, under the European Development Fund (EDF).

In European terms, as dependencies of EU member States, they are known as "OCTs" (overseas countries and territories).

In the Pacific, 14 other independent Island states also qualify for the EDF, but as members of the ACP (Africa, Caribbean, Pacific) group of countries.

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