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CDP, EIF and 8 Italian regions signed an agreement for a new multi-regional security platform to facilitate access to credit by SMEs, agriculture, and the agro-industry
Cassa depositi e prestiti, the European Investment Fund (EIF) of the EIB Group, the Istituto di Servizi per il Mercato Agricolo Alimentare (ISMEA), and 8 Italian regions signed an agreement to jointly launch a program to help Italy’s small and medium sized-businesses borrow and use funds originating from the so-called Juncker Plan.
The AGRI initiative - initially involves the Veneto, Piedmont, Tuscany, Umbria, Campania, Puglia, Friuli Venezia Giulia, and Calabria regions – was created with the aim of researching a more efficient model to put to use European Union structural funds by tapping into lessons learned from prior experiences gained from the Juncker Plan.
The platform supports access to credit for small and medium-sized enterprises in the agriculture while taking advantage of the risk-sharing mechanisms to support financial institutions in optimizing capital. The initial objective of the platform is to convey more than €400 million in new loans to the sector that can double to more than €800 million with the contribution of other Italian regions.
The project is presented as an important innovation in Italy and is made possible thanks to the involvement and coordination at various levels - from Europe to the Italian regions - to focus on agriculture - a sector that, despite the crisis, in recent years has shown growth (the added today value is more than 2% of GDP).
"The agreement lays the foundation for a new, innovative financial instrument dedicated to agriculture that will effectively support access to credit for small and medium-sized enterprises,” said CDP Chief Executive Officer Fabio Gallia. “This is the first initiative in Italy that combines the European Structural Funds with CDP resources in its role as National Promotional Institution and of the European Investment Bank. CDP has already approved a commitment of €150 million and hopes for the involvement of other Italian regions to increase the dimension of the initiative, thus supporting a key sector for the development of our country, and particularly in the Italy’s south. "
The signing ceremony, held in Verona on the eve of the launch of Vinitaly 2017, was attended by the Italian Minister of Agriculture Maurizio Martina, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan, the CDP Chief Business Officer Antonella Baldino, Vice President of the European Investment Bank Dario Scannapieco, European Investment Fund Chief Executive Officer Pier Luigi Gilibert.