“We are very satisfied with the decision, contained in the recently approved 'Sostegni bis' stimulus and relief package, to refinance the 394 Fund,” said Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio. The 394/81 Fund, managed by SIMEST in agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was set up to provide subsidised credit in support of internationalisation. Under the new regulation, 1.2 billion euros are allocated to the 394 Fund and 400 million for the non-repayable fund, complementary to the subsidised credits of the 394 Fund. “At this stage, when the country is still in an emergency situation due to the pandemic,” Di Maio continued, “we did our utmost to maintain a percentage of non-repayable co-financing up to a maximum of 25% for all projects supported by the 394 Fund, for as long as the Temporary Framework is in effect, until the end of this year. Only applications for capitalisation operations have been excluded from the non-reimbursable co-financing, but they will still have access to low-interest loans at an extremely favourable rate”.
“Thanks to this change and this further massive refinancing, we hope to increase the effectiveness of the funds, ensuring their stability and sustainability and trying to avoid, in the short term, a new suspension of their operations, as a matter of emergency, such as the one that became necessary last October due to the excessive number of applications compared to the available resources. The Fund will open for new applications from 3 June, as originally scheduled, and it will once again play a decisive role in supporting the internationalisation of the country's business system, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises,” the Minister concluded.