SOFIA, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- The European Investment Bank Group has provided loans and guarantees worth 359 million euros (390 million U.S. dollars) to Bulgaria in 2019, an official said here on Thursday.
The support from the group, which consists of the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF), reached some 0.59 percent of Bulgaria's gross domestic product, EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova said at a press conference.
"I am convinced that our financing has substantial impact on people and that it is boosting the economic development of Bulgaria," Pavlova said.
"After all, the around 3,800 companies that benefited from EIB Group operations last year employ some 79,000 people throughout the country," Pavlova said.
The bank is looking forward to continuing to work towards the improvement of social, economic, transport and environmental infrastructure and further development of the public and private sectors in the country as well as to financing undertakings helping to meet Bulgaria's commitments in the area of climate action, she said.
In particular, the EIB provided a 110-million-euro loan for the construction of a gas interconnector between Bulgaria and Greece, Pavlova added.
Meanwhile, a loan of 65 million euros was granted to finance the technological modernization and upgrading program of KCM AD, a Bulgarian producer of lead and zinc, and another 18 million euros were lent to Software Group, a global technology company which helps financial service providers digitise their business and successfully go through the process of digital transformation.
In addition, the bank concluded an intermediated loan of 20 million euros with Raiffeisen Leasing Bulgaria, which was aimed at small and medium-sized companies for projects in the fields of agriculture, energy, trade and services, including tourism.
From 2015 to 2019, the EIB has provided 1.1 billion euros to finance projects in Bulgaria, figures showed.