The Italian Government and the Albanian Government have signed an Agreement for the implementation of a Program for the Development of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Albania.
The Program is financed by the Italian Government with a total amount of approximately 30 million Euros which includes three components: • 25 million of aid credit for a Credit Line in favor of Albanian SMEs • 2,5 million euros on credit of help for the constitution of a Guarantee Fund that can favor the access to credit of Albanian SMEs;
The initiative, included in the Cooperation Protocol between Italy and Albania 2002-2004, aims to contribute to the economic growth of Albania. The specific objective is to help facilitate the access of Albanian SMEs to the credit system, also favoring the transition from the informal to the formal sector of many productive activities.
The “Credit Line Steering Committee” (CLSC) of the Program, consisting of the Ministry of the Economy, the Ministry of Finance, the Bank of Albania and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, approved in October 2008 the procedures for operating the Program which include the following credit access conditions.Credit Line Procedures and ConditionsEligibility of SMEs
All SMEs that meet the following criteria can access the line of credit: - Registered in Albania.- Ownership of Albanian citizens for at least 51% .- Annual turnover not exceeding 5 million Euro.- Number of employees not exceeding 250 unit.
Eligibility of projects to be funded- Amount to be financed: from 50.000,00 to 500.000,00 Euro.- Supply of raw materials (max 10% of total credit), equipment, technologies and related TA, maintenance, spare parts and industrial licenses.- Composed supply for at least 70% of the amount total of the project from goods and / or services of Italian origin.- A maximum amount of 30% of the financing requested for each individual project can be used to cover local costs.
CANNOT be financed:- Local taxes, customs duties, VAT - Working capital (excluding the initial amount to start the company) - Joint Ventures, temporary commercial and financial companies - Investments in the leisure, real estate, armaments, drugs and alcohol, tobacco and derivatives, production and products prohibited for import and export from EU countries, based on international agreements.
Credit granting conditions
Interest rate applied: - maximum 5.5% per year for loans in Euro - maximum 8.5% per year for loans in LEK; repayment period: minimum of 3 years and maximum of 8 years. Grace period: minimum of 1 year and maximum of 2 years.
Priority criteria and related more favorable conditions. They are considered priorities:- Manufacturing SMEs - Exporting SMEs (export turnover of at least 50%) - Start-up of SMEs in Albania owned by Albanian citizens residing in Italy.- SMEs located in districts or industrial areas of the country.
The following Projects / Sectors are considered priorities:- Sector of agro-industry.- Renewable energy sector.- Projects with low environmental impact or reduction of pollution.- Projects that create new employment opportunities.- Projects located in the most disadvantaged areas of the country (outside the Tirana-Durazzo area ). Conditions of greater favor: - Projects of an amount ranging from 50.000,00 to 150.000,00 Euro: repayment period of 5 years, including 2 years of grace.- Projects for amounts ranging from 150.001,00 to 500.000,00 Euro: 8 repayment period years, including 2 years of grace.
Small ProjectsA maximum of 10% of the total amount of the credit line is for "start-up" projects whose amount varies from 15.000,00 to 50.000,00 Euro. These projects benefit from a repayment period of 4 years, including 2 years of grace.
Credit access procedures
SMEs interested in accessing the Credit Line will have to contact the Private Commercial Banks (BCP) participating in the Program which will indicate the necessary documentation for the loan request, will evaluate the requests and sign loan agreements with SMEs for approved requests. The BCPs are the only ones responsible for the acceptance or refusal to grant the loan to the SME requesting the loan. In assessing loan applications, the BCPs will take into consideration the compliance with the conditions set by the Program.
The Program Management Unit (PMU) of the Program, established at the Ministry of the Economy by Albanian and Italian experts, will monitor all activities to verify compliance with the procedures and conditions established by the CLSC.
Program Management Unit (PMU) METE BuildingBulevard "Zhan D'Ark", No. 2 - 5th floorTiranaTel: + 355 4 2366811Tel / Fax: + 355 4 2366449Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgThe Private Commercial Banks (BCP) currently participating in the Program are the following:• Raiffeisen Bank • National Commercial Bank (BKT) • Tirana Bank • CREDINS • Italian Development Bank (BIS)