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The European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide EUR 270m in financing to the Valencia Region on favourable terms, with a view to helping develop the investments being implemented in the region under various EU funding programmes for the 2014-2020 period.

EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro and Minister of Finance and Economic Model for the Valencia Region Vicent Soler signed the initial, EUR 80m tranche of this financing today. The aim of the agreement is to promote the competitiveness and sustainability of the Valencian economy and foster job creation.

With this loan, the EIB will join forces with the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) to co-finance various initiatives to boost innovation, support SMEs and adopt measures helping to improve energy efficiency and promote renewable energy, sustainable transport and environmental protection.

In concrete terms, the research, development and innovation (RDI) investments will enable researchers working in the Valencia Region to take part in 1 700 international projects. Information and communication technology (ICT) investments will help continue projects to roll out high-speed internet connections in areas lacking this service, and to modernise the ICT infrastructure of government agencies.

Another of the objectives of the EIB financing is to support SMEs to strengthen the regional productive framework. Some of the funds will go towards the innovation investments of Valencian companies, helping them to become more competitive and to internationalise their business, promoting sustainable economic growth.

Under this programme, priority will be given to investments facilitating the transition to a low-carbon economy, via projects enabling more efficient use of energy sources and natural resources.

These investments – some of which are already being implemented – will contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation by way of projects such as the construction of four new wastewater treatment plants and the modernisation of irrigation systems (to improve energy and water use efficiency), as well as of agro-forestry and fire-prevention infrastructure. Investments will also be made to improve the sustainability of public transport and energy efficiency in public buildings. 

Taken together, EIB calculations indicate that all the investments put in place thanks to the allocation of EU funds and the provision of EIB finance will lead to the creation of over 10 600 new jobs during the implementation phase of the different projects and around 850 permanent positions. The operational programme includes educational investments to improve dual vocational training and to facilitate the return of unemployed people to the job market.