CDP Signs Agreement to Promote Sustainable Growth in Albania
CDP (Cassa Depositi e Prestiti) and SIMEST have signed a memorandum of understanding during a mission to Albania, marking a significant step in their broader strategy to strengthen the group's activities. The collaboration aims to develop sustainable growth initiatives for businesses in emerging economies, including the recent opening of CDP's first non-EU office in Belgrade.
The partnership involves a joint commitment to support local SMEs and projects that contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and have a positive impact on the climate. This marks the beginning of a formal recognition process in Albania for CDP as the Italian Financial Institution for International Development Cooperation.
As part of this initiative, a financing agreement of €10 million has been finalized in support of Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Albania. These funds will enable the activation of resources totaling at least €20 million, dedicated to the growth of at least 50 local SMEs operating in sectors with a high ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) impact through favorable-rate financing.
During the visit to Tirana, the CEO of CDP, Dario Scannapieco, the CEO of SIMEST, Regina Corradini D’Arienzo, and the Secretary-General of the National Economic Council, Arben Shkodra, signed the memorandum of understanding. This marks the beginning of the recognition process for CDP as the Italian Financial Institution for International Development Cooperation in Albania.
The collaboration aims to promote sustainable development in the region and support Albanian SMEs. The signing ceremony was part of a delegation visit to Tirana, where CDP's CEO met with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, Minister of Entrepreneurship Delina Ibrahimaj, Minister of Finance Ervin Mete, and Vice Minister of Tourism and Environment Vilma Bello. These meetings provided an opportunity to outline CDP's strategy to support the public and private sectors in Albania towards sustainable and inclusive growth.
Dario Scannapieco, CEO of CDP, stated, "The memorandum signed with the National Economic Council is a significant first step in a process that will allow Cassa Depositi e Prestiti to operate in Albania as the Italian Financial Institution for International Development Cooperation. It is also another important moment in our work in the Western Balkans, following the opening of our Belgrade office."
Regina Corradini D’Arienzo, CEO of SIMEST, added, "The ties between Italy and Albania are close, not only due to geographic proximity but also due to substantial similarities in the industrial context. With today's signature, we commit to strengthening our presence in the country to facilitate new cooperation opportunities and consolidate trade relations between Italian and local businesses."
The agreement also aims to identify areas of common interest for financing projects in Albania that contribute to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with a positive climate impact. It includes the development of joint initiatives to promote collaboration among SMEs, leveraging the financial instruments available to CDP and SIMEST through the Business Matching platform. The collaboration will also support bilateral investments and share information on opportunities in mutually interesting areas and sectors.
For Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, the Tirana visit is part of a broader strategy to enhance its support for sustainable growth initiatives in emerging economies, following the opening of its first non-EU office in Belgrade. In the coming months, CDP plans to open two new representative offices in North Africa, in Cairo, Egypt, and Rabat, Morocco.
During the day, CDP's CEO signed a financing agreement totaling €10 million with Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Albania, represented by its CEO Alessandro D’Oria. This initiative, part of the Western Balkans Investment Framework promoted by the European Union, will support the growth of Albanian SMEs with favorable interest rates. CDP's funds are expected to leverage at least twice the amount of the financing, resulting in a total impact of not less than €20 million. The initiative will support at least 50 local businesses, create new jobs, and contribute to achieving five Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.