Brussels, 12 October 2011: Top executives from regional banks, economic communities and financial and industrial holdings in the ACP region will gather in Brusselsthis Thursdayfor the Second High Level Workshop on Enhancing Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) financing in ACP countries.

The 2-day event on 13 – 14 October 2011 will focus on how to improve SME financing and maximise access to the European Investment Bank’s (EIB) Management Investment Facility in the region. The investment facility is endowed with roughly €3 billion risk-bearing revolving fund geared to fostering private sector investment in ACP countries.

Preliminary findings from a study commissioned by the ACP on the operation, scope and access to the facility will also be presented. The study, initiated in July, was carried out in four ACP countries, including Ghana, Togo, Dominican Republic and Grenade.

“This is a very critical workshop where we will look at how exactly we can increase the leveraging capacity of ACP regional banks, in making use of funds availed by the EU. Looking at the development miracles happening in our Asian and Latin American neighbours, this week’s meeting will explore how our regional banks can serve as instruments for this type of progress in our own ACP countries,” stated Assistant Secretary General and Head of ACP’s Sustainable Economic Development and Trade Department Mr Achille Bassilekin III.

In addition, talks will continue on the prospects of establishing an ACP Trade and Investment Bank, a scheme presented at the First High Level Workshop in July 2011. The ACP was mandated by its Council of Ministers to prepare recommendations for the establishment of such an institution.

The Agenda for the Second High Level Meeting on SME Financing include:

  1. Establishment of an ACP Trade and Investment Bank
  2. The Asian experience in SME financing and lessons for ACP countries
  3. Social entrepreneurship and SME financing
  4. Mapping out available financing instruments and needs
  5. Study on SME financing – wrap up and key actions needed to ensure effective use of the study results and recommendations

For full programme of the meeting, download (EN/ FR). -END-

(Pictured: Assistant Secretary General and Head of ACP's Sustainable Economic Development and Trade Department Mr Achille Bassilekin III)

Read about the outcomes of this meeting

For more information contact Press Attache Josephine Latu +32 2 7430617 or