Cavtat, 11 April 2019 – HBOR hosted the meeting of the China-CEEC Inter-Bank Association, during which the members of the Association signed the Initiative aimed at strengthening the cooperation in the field of SME development.


The topic of this year’s meeting was the promotion of SMEs, and Ms. Nataša Mikuš Žigman, State Secretary in the Ministry of the Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts, was the special guest. The meeting was opened by Ms. Tamara Perko, President of the Management Board of HBOR, who is also the President of the Board of Directors of the China-CEEC Inter-Bank Association, and Mr. Zheng Zhijie, President of the China Development Bank.


At the meeting, all members of the Association signed the „Cooperation Initiative of the China-CEEC Inter-Bank Association on Supporting the Development of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises“.


Cooperation Initiative

The Initiative highlights the readiness of the members to jointly strengthen financial cooperation and provide support to small and medium-sized enterprises in sectors such as infrastructure, agriculture, tourism, energy efficiency, environmental protection, information technology and biotechnology. Furthermore, the Initiative emphasises the significance of, and the need for, exchanging information and experiences among the members on success stories in the field of SME finance as well as on the risks and opportunities for risk mitigation in the financing of small and medium-sized enterprises.


Nataša Mikuš Žigman stressed the importance of SMEs as the driving force of the economic growth and pointed out: “The Initiative signed today will provide new opportunities for the sector that is the driving force of the Croatian economy, and it is therefore necessary to constantly look for new ways of supporting its development. Future activities of this Association and integration possibilities for our projects aimed at supporting SMEs are of particular interest for us.“


Tamara Perko said: “Small and medium-sized companies are the most numerous beneficiaries of HBOR’s programmes. The Initiative will serve as a platform for cooperation and know-how exchange that will definitely contribute to the further development and strengthening of support provided to our entrepreneurs. It is not only that we can learn from other members, but we can also help other members develop new products and forms of finance. Here I primarily think of HBOR’s experience and successful results in encouraging the use of available funds and financial instruments from EU funds and introducing platforms for new ways of finance, such as investing in the capital of small and medium-sized enterprises.


The Initiative confirmed the significance of the concept of the green economy for attaining sustainable development, confronting climate change and improving the life quality of the citizens of the signatory countries. As a result, each member will consider priority measures in supporting small and medium-sized enterprises that facilitate the development of the green economy.


HBOR signed the Belt and Road Cooperation EUR 300 Million Financial Agreement with the China Development Bank intended for the financing of projects that fit in HBOR’s usual purposes as well as the projects of mutual interest.


 About the Association

The China-CEEC Inter-Bank Association was established at the end of 2017 at the initiative of the China Development Bank (CDB).


The purpose of the Association is to establish effective cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and the countries of the Central and Eastern Europe aiming to strengthen economic and financial interaction among the members and foster economic development, export and investment.


Today, the Association has 14 members: financial institutions from Central and Eastern European countries and China.


Besides HBOR and the China Development Bank, the members of the Association are development banks of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Montenegro, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Romania, North Macedonia, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Serbia.