Trieste, 7th October 2010 - New project to promote access to finance for SMEs in countries outside the EU supported by the Italian CEI Fund at the EBRD.
Facilitating access to credit for small and medium-sized enterprises in countries outside the EU funds and international institutions. It will be one of the first issues for the new partnership between CEI and Informest, confirmed today in Trieste after the signing of an agreement under the program.

In the past years Ince and Informest - two actors dedicated to cooperation with base in the region - had collaborated on some projects financed by government funds and the European Union. However, the agreement signed today wides horizons and aims to strengthen the two institutions, by pooling their respective strengths: the intergovernmental strenght of CEI  and the technique one of Informest.
The agreement was signed today at the Headquarters of the CEI, by Ambassador Gerhard Pfanzelter, Secretary General of the CEI and Silvia Acerbi, Vice President of Informest, in the presence of Hon. Antonione, President of the Italian Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of CEI and Federica Seganti, Regional Councillor for International Relations and EU.
The project Financial Facilities for SMEs in Non-EU Member States of the CEI. A first concrete step in the cooperation between CEI and Informest is the project started by Informest and presented on the occasion of signing the Agreement today, aimed at facilitating access to credit for SMEs in countries outside the EU and the Fund Italian CEI at the EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development). This fund established by the Italian Government at the EBRD in 1992, to which Italy has contributed with 32,5 million euro (since 1992) finances technical assistance in member countries of the CEI. In all these years this type of assistance has led to more than 2.6 billion euros of international investments.
The vice president of Informest Acerbi explains: "This agreement offers an example of unprecedented cooperation in our region, the basis is a common approach, which recognizes a new type of internationalization - the more complex and present on several levels, from intergovernmental and multilateral economic one - an essential ingredient for the revitalization of our economy."
For the Secretary General of the Central Europe, Ambassador Gerhard Pfnanzelter "Today's agreement represents a major step forward in bringing CEI closer to production reality of its member countries. An approach that will strengthen our role as a forum for intergovernmental cooperation. "
The Central European Initiative (CEI) was established in 1989 as an intergovernmental forum for political, economic and cultural cooperation among its Member States (currently 18), in order to support the transition countries of Central and Eastern Europe to the European integration, through business and investment promotion, trade and scientific technology and the transfer of know-how and best practices. The CEI member states are Albania, Austria, Belarus, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Italy, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine and Hungary.

Informest - Service and Documentation Centre for International Economic Cooperation was founded as a public structure with Law 19/91 with the aim of promoting economic cooperation with Central and Eastern Europe, economic development and internationalization. Informest has consolidated its position of excellence as one of four Italian Agency for Cooperation in South East Europe (L. 84/01), has carried out projects strongly desired by the strategies of cooperation of the Regions members, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economic Development.
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