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The World Bank supports Croatian companies to cope with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic




Today, the World Bank’s Board of Directors approved a loan to the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) in the amount of € 200 million (equivalent to $ 242 million) for the HEAL Croatia project (Helping companies access liquidity in Croatia). The loan will provide liquidity and financial restructuring for companies hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and devastating earthquakes in 2020. These loans will support an inclusive and resilient recovery.

The COVID-19 crisis has caused a sharp decline in the economic activity of Croatian companies and had a profound effect on jobs and livelihoods. The epidemic disrupted production by companies and reduced demand for their goods and services, while the financial sector tightened corporate lending, due to high credit risks. The crisis has also exacerbated regional disparities in Croatia, including reduced access to credit for young firms and firms owned and managed by women.

To mitigate the multiple impacts of the pandemic, the project will support export-focused companies, both small and medium enterprises (companies employing fewer than 250 people) and medium-sized companies (employing 250 to 3,000 people). The project will increase access to finance for companies from less developed regions in Croatia, women-owned or managed companies, and young companies (operating less than five years). The project will also support the continuous development of HBOR by improving business processes, enhancing sustainability and resilience to climate change, And the use of European Union funds.

“The approval of this project is very important because it provides support to companies affected by the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, thus ensuring that jobs are preserved and providing an incentive for economic recovery. An additional advantage is that it will attract commercial banks to finance the private sector, facilitate financing from other international financing and contribute to Increasing the operational efficiency of the HBOR program. “It is important to emphasize that the World Bank is providing this project under very favorable conditions,” said Zdravko Mari, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the Republic of Croatia.

Over the past year, HBOR approved 43 percent of all loans to companies covered by COVID measures, which better illustrates our importance in providing support to Croatian entrepreneurs in the COVID crisis. The favorable terms and conditions granted by the World Bank will provide us with an additional source of financing for more favorable loans for our entrepreneurs. In addition, the World Bank, as the leader in environmental and social management, will support HBOR in strengthening its Environmental and Social Management System. This will be important because HBOR’s activities in the coming period will be particularly committed to building more capacity to support sustainable projects and inclusive growth, ”said Tamara Berko, Chairman of HBOR.

“The HEAL Croatia project will contribute to the resilient, comprehensive and sustainable recovery of Croatia, which has been hit hard by the global epidemic, economic recession and devastating earthquakes in March and December 2020,” said Elisabetta Cabanelli, World Bank. Country manager in Croatia. “We expect the HEAL project to help preserve jobs and support family livelihoods through direct support to nearly 150 companies employing around 25,000 people. It will also assist women-led companies, young companies, and companies operating in less developed regions to address issues related to access to finance. The long-term “.

The HEAL Croatia project complements two other World Bank crisis processes approved last year, the Crisis Response and Disaster Recovery Program in Croatia, and the Earthquake Recovery and Public Health Preparedness Project – worth US $ 500 million, to help mitigate the effects of the economic shock and pre-recover. And facilitation. Post-earthquake reconstruction and strengthening of national public health preparedness systems for outbreaks.

The World Bank has partnered with Croatia for more than 27 years. During this period, the Bank supported more than 50 projects worth approximately $ 5 billion, produced numerous studies, and provided technical assistance to help strengthen institutions and support policy and strategy design. The Bank’s current program focuses on mitigating the economic and social impact of COVID-19, post-earthquake reconstruction, transportation, justice, innovation, business environment, land administration, science and technology, and the economic development of the Pannonian region.

/ General release. This material comes from the original establishment and may be chronological in nature, and is edited for clarity, style, and length. View it in full here. .

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