CEC Bank and AFIR signed a protocol offering low-interest loans to farmers and other rural investors
CEC Bank and the Agency for Financing Rural Investments (AFIR) have signed a collaboration protocol to accelerate the process of absorption of European funds allocated under the National Rural Development Program for the transition period 2021-2022.
“CEC Bank has had and continues to play a major role in supporting European funds access projects and especially investment projects in agriculture and rural development, which represent over 40% of the bank’s financing on the part of European funds. Through this Protocol we aim to increase access to finance and accelerate the absorption of European funds allocated to the transition period from the NRDP. CEC Bank offers a series of facilities, by creating products adapted to the specifics of these financings, as well as by applying interest margins 0.5 pp lower than standard costs “, said Ramona Ivan, Director of the Department of Relations with National Institutions and International within CEC Bank.
“We are constantly concerned with identifying real solutions to support applicants in the process of accessing European grants. Our partnership with CEC-Bank is a traditional one and meets the need for co-financing that many of the potential beneficiaries have been feeling acutely lately. We continue to identify solutions to facilitate the absorption of funds and implicitly to contribute significantly to the modernization of the Romanian rural environment “, mentioned Mihai Moraru, general director of AFIR.
The funds allocated to the transition period, managed by AFIR, are intended for private beneficiaries in rural areas, for investments in the agri-food sector and for the development of non-agricultural activities, for which there is a time constraint, the funds needing to be spent by 31 December. 2025, by completing the implementation of projects, including making the last payment tranche. CEC Bank’s expertise and funding for PNDR projects are already extensive.
Thus, so far, the bank has financed about 2,150 eligible investment projects under the National Rural Development Program, worth about 3 billion lei.
In addition, CEC Bank granted over 166,000 loans for the pre-financing of subsidies granted by APIA, of which approximately 60,000 loans for the pre-financing of subsidies granted by APIA from European funds, amounting to over 3.7 billion lei. In addition, the Bank, as a partner in the project “PROSME – Promoting SMEs in Romania through Enterprise Europe Network”, provides farmers in the counties eligible in the program, respectively Bucharest-Ilfov, Argeș, Călărași, Dâmbovița, Giurgiu, Ialomița , Prahova and Teleorman, free consulting services in order to internationalize business, by facilitating contacts with potential partners from the 60 countries where the network is present.