The Italian – Albanian SMEs Development Program aims to foster the economic and social growth of Albania, supporting the access of local Small and Medium Enterprises to the banking credit.
The initiative, which is considered of high priority by the Albanian authorities, has been foresees in the Bilateral Agreement of Cooperation for the period 2002-2004, evaluating the development of the private sector of a country as a basic element for its economic and social growth.
The Programme is regulated by two International Agreements (Programme Agreement and Financial Agreement) signed by the Italian Government and the Albanian Government.
The Programme Agreement and the Financial Agreement set the establishment of a Soft Loan component and a Grant component, both issued by the Italian Government, to perform agreed activities and achieve expected results
The Programme is based on three main components:
a) a Credit Line of EUR 25,000,000;
b) a Credit Guarantee fund of EUR 2,500,000;
c) technical assistance component financed with a grant of EUR 1,756,000.
The overall objective of the program is to contribute Albania’s economic growth and the reinforcement of its economic relations with the European Union.
The specific objective of the program is to support SMEs through interventions aimed at creating a favorable environment for their development, mainly referring to the credit sector.The loans from the Credit Line are provided to SMEs through selected Private Local Commercial Banks (PCBs)
The Program started in January 2009 and is now in its sixth year of implementation.