The President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Werner Hoyer, and EIB Vice-President Jan Vapaavuori met theFinance Minister Magdalena Andersson and Foreign Affairs MinisterMargot Wallström to discuss Sweden’s investment priorities. On this occasion, the EIB President and Vice-President, together with the Deputy Finance Minister Per Bolund, inaugurated the EIB Group’s Representative Office in Stockholm to support business with the public and private sectors and strengthen relations with promoters and partner banks in Sweden. The Office will be headed by Alexander Schenkand was inaugurated in the presence ofambassadors of the EU Member States and representatives of Sweden’s Government and the banking and business communities.
EIB President Werner Hoyer said: “The EIB Group representation in Stockholm will enable us to better assess and respond to Sweden’s financing needs. The EU bank is focusing its “lending, blending and advising” approach on mobilising investments and supporting the Investment Plan for Europe. There is scope to increase and deepen our cooperation with Swedish project promoters, private investors, co-financers and public authorities to strengthen the country’s competitiveness and benefit the people”.
Jan Vapaavuori, EIB Vice-President responsible for operations in Sweden, added: “After twenty years of doing business in Sweden, I am proud to say that the European Investment Bank is a well-established financing partner here for private corporates and public authorities. We have supported the development of the knowledge economy, strategic transport infrastructure, environmental investments, the health sector and the modernisation of Swedish cities. Our support will be strengthened with the presence of the new EIB Group office on-site, leading to stronger growth and the creation of new jobs in strategic sectors of Sweden’s economy.”
Per Bolund, Minister for Financial Markets and Consumer Affairs and Deputy Minister for Finance, commented: “Since the onset of the financial crisis in 2008 total EIB lending– involving projects both inside and outside the EU – has amounted to over EUR 500bn. Of that figure, over EUR 10bn has been provided for projects in Sweden, in both the public and the private sector. The opening of the EIB’s office in Stockholm shows the EIB’s and President Hoyer’s commitment to the Bank’s activities in Sweden and is a testament to the good relations between Sweden and the EIB. It is my hope that the enhanced presence here will be able to help the EIB to find more and better investment opportunities within Sweden.”
The EIB has strongly supported the Swedish economy since 1994 by lending more than EUR 20 billion to date for sound investment projects. Over the last five years the EU bank’s financing has focused on promoting research and development by innovative large and mid-cap companies in the industrial sector. Sustainable transport, the development of Swedish cities and medium-sized municipalities as well as high-speed broadband services have also been fostered by the EIB financing.
The European Investment Fund (EIF) has been investing in Sweden since 1998 and supported over 65 private equity funds, which have invested in Swedish SMEs. It has worked with five partners providing finance and guarantees in Sweden and via its intermediaries has supported over 13 250 SMEs to date.
The inauguration of the EIB Group’s office in Stockholm is part of the EIB’s policy to enhance its presence in all EU Member States. A presence on the ground in the EU capitals will ensure market proximity, an increased operational delivery capability for the EIB and closer institutional ties with the national authorities. It will improve project identification and screening, facilitate the appraisal of new operations and develop financing opportunities with the European Investment Fund. It will also play an important role in implementing new products to finance the public and private sectors, such as the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), part of the Investment Plan for Europe.
Alexander Schenk, who will be the Head of the EIB Group office in Stockholm, joined the EIB Legal Department in 1998 and then worked as an adviser to EIB Vice-Presidents. In 2009, he was seconded to the Swedish Ministry of Finance, where he worked for three years.
The European Investment Bank Group lent EUR 2.02 billion to projects in Sweden last year. Nearly EUR 1.7 billion of this came through lending operations of the European Investment Bank (EIB), with the remainder provided through guarantee transactions with Swedish intermediaries and investment into funds of funds by the European Investment Fund (EIF).
Passers-by and tourists in Stockholm will be treated to a temporary photo exhibition organised by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the City of Stockholm. 11 life-size frames installed on centrally located Raoul Wallenberg Torg will detail how the EU bank has supported green and sustainable projects in Sweden in recent years.
The EIB Group has today officially inaugurated its representative office in Copenhagen to support business, develop contacts with the public and private sectors, strengthen relations with promoters and partner banks, and enhance its outreach in Denmark.