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Six projects presented investment ideas to European and Nordic Investment Banks

Six transnational cooperation projects co-funded by the EU Baltic Sea Region Programme 2007-2013 presented their investment ideas to international financing institutions in Hamburg on 5th May. The Joint Technical Secretariat of the Baltic Sea Region Programme 2007-2013 has organised the workshop in cooperation with the European and Nordic Investment Banks (EIB and NIB). The objective is to help projects implement larger investments outside the limited funds of a transnational cooperation programme. The pilot workshop was initiated through newly created cooperation working group bringing together EU programmes management bodies and international financing institutions. The working group, managed by the EU INTERACT programme, is exploring investment opportunities for implementing large scale projects identified in the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region's Action Plan.

Six transnational cooperation projects from the Baltic Sea region participated in the workshop, including Baltic Biogas Bus, Baltic COMPASS, BRISK, Longlife, SPIN and TransBaltic. Besides talking about investments the event has also proved to be a nice opportunity for exchanging ideas and having a lively dialogue with banking people.

First the bank experts provided a general presentation about the banks lending objectives, and their specific profile as NIB and EIB. They introduced their priority areas, the lending volumes, support offered in project development and criteria for successful selection. Jaani Pietikäinen from the European Investment Bank also gave some brief information about its JESSICA (Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas) and JEREMIE (Joint European Resources for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) initiatives. Furthermore, Yngve Söderlund, NIB, highlighted the role of the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO) that finances investments and projects primarily in Russia, Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Belarus. NEFCO's primary target is to generate positive environmental effects of interest to the Nordic region. Afterwards the projects presented their objectives, as well as some investment ideas both concrete and more general ones. Eventually, both bank experts provided individual feedback whether the presented ideas fit to the banks' profile, and if they are "bankable".

All six projects are currently at the starting point of implementation. Not all investment ideas have already been developed into concrete investment plans. Relevant decision makers need to be taken onboard. Nevertheless, feedback from the participants showed that the most important step was to learn about borrowing opportunities and make contacts. On average the workshop was rated as very useful.

As the event was successful, there is a need from the projects' side to continue this initiative and to provide further help and information when the projects are in a later stage of implementation. The Joint Technical Secretariat will further evaluate the concept and examine the opportunities for the future.


published 17.05.2010