Andalusia, April 6, 2017 - A total of 66 professionals from 56 Andalusian companies from different sectors of activity have today taken part in the technical seminar on ´Possibilities for Project Financing and International Operations through Blending, organised by the Local Ministry of Economy and Knowledge, through Extenda – the Andalusian Agency for Foreign Promotion, Compañía Española de Financiación del Desarrollo, COFIDES and the Seville Chamber of Commerce, held at the Extenda head offices in Seville.
The seminar was opened by the Secretary General of Economy of the Local Ministry of Economy and Knowledge and Chairman of Extenda, Gaspar Llanes; COFIDES Chairman, Salvador Marín; and the president of the Seville Chamber of Commerce, Francisco Herrero. Through this briefing, the organising entities presented to the attending professionals the variety of financial instruments they have at their disposal to support the internationalisation of Andalusian companies.
In his speech, Gaspar Llanes highlighted the efforts of Extenda in recent years in helping Andalusian companies find and secure funding for their internationalisation projects, "through the creation of new programs such as Consultancy and Access to Financing, as well as the signing of agreements with public entities such as COFIDES, which we are renewing today, and with numerous private financing entities".
Furthermore, Salvador Marín stated, "the agreement signed in 2015 has been positive and it has contributed very effectively towards encouraging the investment of Andalusian companies abroad, especially SMEs, which is where we have been focusing our attention".
In addition, he went on to explain, "Effective contacts and projects under study have tripled through the Extenda-COFIDES agreement. "Since the signing of the cooperation agreement, we have so far analysed 145 projects from Andalusian companies, mostly SMEs (63%) and mainly from service, engineering, construction material and textile sectors and which generate employment both in the destination country and in Spain".
The Chairman stressed that COFIDES had 15 projects from Andalusian companies in its portfolio, involving an investment of around €85m and accounting for more than 30,200 jobs. He also added, "We are convinced that soon we will be supporting more projects, and this has encouraged companies to present their requests for project funding and strengthen their options abroad".
Finally, the COFIDES Chairman recalled that since the beginning of its activity, COFIDES had approved 52 projects to companies based in Andalusia that had led to a total investment of more than €2,875 million.
Therefore, the financing support services and in particular, the programs ´Extenda Consultancy and Access to Financing for Internationalisation´ which were launched in 2016 were also presented; Whilst from COFIDES, the emphasis was on the Blending services that the company offers by virtue of the accreditation that it holds with the European Union.
In this regards, COFIDES has been an accredited entity since 2016, in the management of the European Union development cooperation budget. This accreditation opens new financing possibilities for Spanish companies through blending, a formula that allows the combination non-refundable finance (grants) from the European Union with COFIDES refundable financing.
As well as attending presentations with field experts, the interested companies were able to have bilateral interviews with Extenda technicians for further details on their current consulting programs, as well as with COFIDES professionals with whom they were able to present their investment projects or international operations.
Extenda and COFIDES renew their cooperation agreement
Likewise, Extenda and COFIDES have today renewed the cooperation agreement signed in April 2015 in which they agreed to financially and technically support Andalusian companies which intended to develop investment projects related to internationalisation.
With this renewal, signed today by Extenda CEO Vanessa Bernard and COFIDES Chairman Salvador Marín Hernández in the presence of the General Secretary of Economy of the Local Ministry of Economy and Knowledge of the Junta de Andalucía and Extenda President, Gaspar Llanes; The cooperation agreement between the two entities has now been extended until April 2018.
Included in this renewal was the approval for a section to be included in the first clause of the agreement in which the parties agree to highlight the financing opportunities that COFIDES can offer thanks to its accreditation to the European Union. This allows COFIDES to have access to the delegated management funds, especially the Blending facilities in its recent orientation to the role of the private sector.
The EU and its Member States are together the world´s largest donors of official development aid. One of the ways to implement this budget is through accredited entities, such as COFIDES who have been accredited since May 2016. This accreditation allows COFIDES to co-finance projects with the EU under the Blending Framework.
Blending is a financing instrument of the European Union which is articulated through the combination of EU grants with loans or equity from accredited public and private financiers, such as COFIDES.
The recipient of the funding will benefit from concessional terms due to the contribution of the Commission which could be in the form of cost reduction (investment grant, technical assistance or interest rate subsidy) or through risk reduction (risk capital ‘first loss’ or guarantees).
Extenda Financing Support
In 2016 Extenda launched the program ´Extenda-Consultancy and the Access to Financing for Internationalisation´ program with the aim of helping Andalusian companies seek and acquire financing for their internationalisation projects. Companies interested in participating in this program can submit their applications until next Monday, 10th April inclusive.
For its development, Extenda offers to the companies a team of consultants who are experts in financing and international business development who offer comprehensive and specialised advice throughout the process, bringing the most suitable financial products and public entities preferential conditions such as COFIDES, as well as private ones.
Therefore, the program includes an analysis of the company internationalisation process state and its economic-financial situation and personalised recommendations; A proposal for an optimal financial structure for the execution of its planning; Definition of the eligible project in a justified and coherent manner; And the preparation of a providers list of financing adequate to the financing needs and characteristics of their project.