The European Investment Bank (EIB), the bank of the European Union (EU), officially inaugurated its new representation office in Suva today, covering Fiji and the Pacific region.
The new EIB office will be located on the premises of the Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific.
It will strengthen the European Union’s partnership with the region and enhance the EIB’s technical and financial support for environmental and climate action projects and for green infrastructure development, areas that are fully in line with the Fijian Government’s priorities and the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent endorsed by the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders.
EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Strategic Planning, National Development and Statistics of Fiji Professor Biman Prasad were joined by the Deputy Director General for International Partnerships of the European Commission Myriam Ferran and the Ambassador and Head of the Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific Sujiro Seam at the opening.
Also in attendance were other high-level representatives, Government officials, local partners, multilateral development banks, development finance institutions, local financial institutions, and other stakeholders.
Fayolle, who is in charge of EIB operations in the Pacific, said: “With the opening of an EIB representation office in Suva, the bank of the European Union is demonstrating its growing ambition to be closer to the people, companies and institutions of the Pacific region, and to invest more in projects there.”
“What we aim to do is reinforce Team Europe’s presence on the ground. This office will be another bridge between the region and the European Union, including as part of the EU Global Gateway initiative.”
“It will help address key issues such as climate change and climate resilience, the energy crisis and food insecurity more efficiently.”
“Looking ahead, I am confident that we will be able to make a difference in helping to unlock green, sustainable and empowering growth and development for Fiji and the Pacific region.”
Prof Prasad said this is a great moment for both EIB and the Government of Fiji as this marks an important milestone in the EU-Fiji partnership.
“It is indeed a sign of trust and confidence placed by EIB in the future of our country and shows EIB’s willingness to not only deepen its engagement with Fiji but expand its role in the region.”
Since the launch of its operations in the Pacific in the 1960s, the EIB has granted more than €760 million in loans and equity, mobilising more than €5.1 billion in investment.
The EIB has been actively engaged in Fiji, having invested €180 million (FJD 425 million).
The EIB supports EU external priorities in Fiji and the Pacific, lending to public and private sector projects in countries in the Pacific region that have a strong development impact and promote economic stability, sustainable growth and employment.