New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley inaugurates the new EIB Regional Representation for South Asia in New Delhi, following agreements for EUR 450m of new support for sustainable transport and renewable energy projects
The European Investment Bank’s first permanent office in India was formally opened earlier today, by Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister of the Republic of India, Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank, Andrew McDowell, European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for South Asia and H.E. Tomasz Kozlowski, Ambassador of the European Union to India.
At the formal opening of the European Investment Bank Regional Representation new contracts totalling EUR 450 million were agreed that will support sustainable transport and renewable energy investment in India. This includes a new EUR 250 million for construction of the Lucknow Metro that represents second tranche of a total EUR 450 million backing for the project.
A EUR 200 million loan to the State Bank of India to finance construction of new large scale solar power schemes across the country was also signed at the office opening. This will support plans to install 20 GW of grid connected solar power by 2020 under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission.
The new office, to be located with the European Union Delegation to India in Shanti Niketan in New Delhi, will strengthen links between countries across South Asia and the European Investment Bank, the world’s largest international public bank. The presence of EIB staff in New Delhi will enable greater private sector investment in the country by ensuring better access to the EIB’s products and initiatives and providing direct guidance on possible technical and financial support provided by the Luxembourg headquarters of the EIB.
The new Regional Representation represents the first ever permanent presence of the European Investment Bank in India. The office will be headed by Donal Cannon an experienced banking specialist who during an 18 year career with the EIB has previously managed financial transactions supporting infrastructure and corporate investment, across in Africa, Asia and the Pacific.
“The European Investment Bank has supported long-term investment across India for more than 20 years. This has included harnessing renewable energy, strengthening industry and reducing carbon emissions. As the world’s largest multilateral public bank and a global leader in financing climate action, the EU Bank recognises that the time is right to increase our engagement across South Asia. This is part of the European Union’s efforts to strengthen its important relationship with India and South Asia as a whole. The opening of a regional office of the European Investment Bank in the sub-continent will ensure closer ties with public and private partners across the country, where our financial support and technical expertise can strengthen long-term investment crucial for improving lives and transforming economic opportunities across the region.” said Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank.
“Opening of the EIB New Delhi office will unlock new opportunities for the European Investment Bank to support transformational investment and broader activities across South Asia. Visits to see the flagship Lucknow Metro and transformational upgrading of wastewater infrastructure in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo in recent days have shown how EIB backed new investment is helping to improve the lives of millions of people across the sub-continent.” said Andrew McDowell, Vice President of the European Investment Bank.
“We are delighted to have the European Investment Bank co-located in the European Union Delegation premises here in India”, said H.E. Mr. Tomasz Kozlowski, Ambassador of the European Union to India. “The EIB has invested substantially in India’s clean energy, and public transport sector in recent years. We believe that bank funding will be important in achieving the objectives of sustainability and climate change mitigation and adaptation that India has set for itself”.
“The EIB’s decision to open an office in New Delhi is a confirmation of the European Union’s growing engagement with India”, he added.
In recent years the EIB has supported sustainable transport, renewable energy, small business and industrial investment across India.
The European Investment Bank has provided more than EUR 1.7 billion for long-term investment in India since the first operation in 1993.