As part of a series of events organised to debate current trends in investment in different EU Member States, Banco de España, Banco de Portugal and the European Investment Bank, hosted their first joint conference entitled “Financing Corporates: Lessons from the COVID-19 Crisis and Challenges Ahead.”

Policy support

More than 70 business leaders, bankers, economists, and public sector partners attended the event at the Banco de Espana headquarters in Madrid. Experts presented the main results of the 2021 EIB Investment Surveys for Spain and Portugal, and discussed the impact of the policy support deployed during the crisis with central bankers. European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Fereira delivered the keynote speech. European Investment Bank Vice-President Ricardo Mourinho Félix, Governor of Banco de España Pablo Hernández de Cos and the Head of the Governor’s Office at the Banco de Portugal, Alvaro Novo, discussed the role of the European Next Generation EU programme and of structural reforms in the growth of European economies. Speakers outlined policies which could support corporates in the challenging and uncertain economic environment, taking into account the war in Ukraine.

“EIB economic reports conclude that corporates are increasingly in favour of digital investments in a post-pandemic world which is crucial to remain competitive and to avoid widening cross-regional gaps. Our analysis of EIB venture debt financing shows that beneficiaries’ value added increased by around 50 percent on average, relative to comparable firms that did not receive EIB venture debt financing to boost R&D and innovation.

“The EIB Group stands ready to help Spanish and Portuguese firms to overcome the challenges and barriers to investment. As discussed during the joint conference today, we must also take into account the situation in Ukraine and deliver a coordinated EU policy response. The EIB has prepared an emergency solidarity package for Ukraine of €2 billion, including the provision of €668 million in immediate liquidity assistance to the Ukrainian authorities". Said Ricardo Mourinho Félix, European Investment Bank Vice-President in his closing remarks.

A springboard for change

The EIB working paper discussed during the conference presented a view on support for companies during the crisis. The survey is part of the annual EIB Group Survey on Investment and Investment Finance (EIBIS), an EU-wide survey of 13,500 firms that gathers quantitative information on the investment activities of both SMEs and larger corporates, their financing requirements, and the difficulties they face. Chapter 3 of the EIB’s Investment Report discusses the recovery as a springboard for change for corporates. The report shows that public support has enhanced companies’ ability to rebound from the crisis and provides ground for a sustainable recovery strengthening the economy in the long term.