We have news coming from Slovenia, where it has recently been reported that the European Investment Bank (EIB) will be opening its office in the country's capital, Ljubljana, during the summer months.
This piece of news does not come as too big of a surprise, since the Slovenian economy has enjoyed EIB's considerable presence over the last couple of years, with its investments during last year alone totaling EUR 798 million. The money in question was reported to have been mainly allocated to EU Funds Priority Projects (EUR 500 million of it), and aimed across a wide array of sectors including transport, energy, environment, health, R&D infrastructure, environmental protection, social infrastructure, improvement of training and access to employment, ICT, urban regeneration and water. These funds also included an amount specifically intended for projects dealing with the ongoing migrant crisis in the Balkans. Furthermore, EIB helped the construction of motorways in Slovenia with a EUR 145m loan, the electricity distribution with EUR 135m credit, and an additional EUR 20m loan that was aimed at helping small and medium sized businesses develop.
Laszlo Baranyay, EIB's vice president, further outlined EIB's focus for 2016 to be on finding projects that are appropriate for the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). The Bank and the Fund claim to be looking forward to cooperate in this regard with the Slovenian Export and Development Bank (SID), not merely in terms of consulting, but perhaps even through a joint investment platform – Baranyay said. Potential financing opportunities have also been said to include the city of Ljubljana, with meetings between the city's Mayor Zoran Janković and EIB representatives held in late February. No official statements or updates have been issued since, but it seems clear that by opening an office in Slovenia, EIB continues to closely nurture its relationship with this country.