Ministers Visit European Investment Bank To Explore Funding Opportunities

The Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, have visited the European Investment Bank to explore new funding opportunities for Irish infrastructure.

The European Investment Bank is expected to strengthen backing for transport, education, housing, healthcare and small business investment in Ireland, in addition to examining support for sectors such as exporters and agriculture most affected by Brexit, following the meeting of the Ireland-EIB Financing Group held at the European Investment Bank headquarters in Luxembourg earlier this week.

Speaking about the Minister's visit, Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank, said: "The two day visit to the European Investment Bank headquarters by Ministers Noonan and Donohoe comes at a turning point for the EU Bank's engagement in Ireland. In recent years the EIB has supported Ireland's impressive recovery across key sectors, with projects around the country, and we look forward to working closely to ensure a strong future for the country by backing small business and tackling infrastructure needs. The broad focus of the EIB's involvement in Ireland would not have been possible without the firm resolve of Minister Noonan to ensure that no opportunities were lost to overcome challenges and unlock transformational new investment."

Two days of discussions were led by Minister Noonan and Minister Donohoe, European Investment Bank President Werner Hoyer and Vice President Andrew McDowell. The meeting brought together senior officials from government, the EIB's financing and advisory teams and the European Investment Fund.

Speaking in Luxembourg today Mr Noonan, Minister for Finance of Ireland and Governor of the European Investment Bank said: "The European Investment Bank has played a key role supporting transformational investment across Ireland for more than 40 years and both increased and broadened engagement in recent challenging times. We are anxious to grow Ireland's social and economic infrastructure. We welcome clear progress to explore possible access to EIB funding for projects that are economically necessary.

"Continued discussions with the President Hoyer and EIB colleagues, strengthened in recent months through the appointment of Andrew McDowell as the first Irish Vice President in 12 years, the new EIB Dublin office opened by the Taoiseach in December and structured partnership through the Ireland-EIB Financing Group is already unlocking support for new investment.

"I am confident that following today's meeting, exploratory talks will take place with the EIB and the EIB will intensify its consideration of how to support projects crucial for Ireland's future such as social housing, ports, community nursing homes, improvements to the national road network, Dublin Metro North in the years ahead."


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