The Minister of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts, Achille BASSILEKIN III on May 6th 2022 granted an audience to the Vice President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Mr Thomas Östros at the emergence building.

Amongst other objectives, the audience which is part of the EIB high-level mission to Cameroon is particular focused on the cooperation opportunities with the EIB. As such, this visit aims at pursuing exchanges with EIB officials with a view of creating other finance opportunities in favour of Cameroonian SMEs. Furthermore, this visit also gives room for MINPMEESA to solicit from the EIB to mobilise other financial partners around the Cameroonian entrepreneurial ecosystem and to review to which extent it could support the project to set up the Cameroon Global Innovation Centre, envisaged in partnership with the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). It should be noted that the financing of SMEs is one of the priority areas of intervention of the EIB, particularly in its deployment in Cameroon, hence the interest of Mr Thomas Östros for Cameroon.

Heading a strong delegation in which his bank and the European Union are represented, Mr Thomas Östros stated that the role of the EIB in helping SMEs grow will be through the approximately 30 million Euro support that the EIB is granting to SMEs through 2 local banks.

Minister Achille BASSILEKIN III on his part remained optimistic that the specific credit line from the EIB will be beneficial for the growth and development of SMEs given that the loans are accompanied by convenient terms and conditions, low interest rates and efficient technical assistances that will permit that the financial dispositions made available for SMEs will be effective and permit SMEs to meet up their financial needs. He remained optimistic that the EIB through its capital and expertise acquired will also assist MINPMEESA with its technical expertise for the management of the finances geared towards the growth of SMEs.

It is worth noting that a financing agreement for the opening of a credit line of 27 million euros with CCA BANK (15 million euros) and CBC BANK (12 million euros) respectively to meet the needs of SMEs was signed between MINPMEESA and the above mentioned local banks. Moreover, under the auspices of MINPMEESA, initiatives aimed at networking the SME Promotion Agency (APME) with the EIB for a partnership to consolidate the SME’s Finance Access platform have been undertaken, as well as has the networking of the Banque Camerounaise des PME (BC-PME) with the EIB for the financing of agricultural sectors.

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