21 Oct 2009

Cooks finance minister welcomes European Investment Bank deal

1:36 pm on 21 October 2009

The finance minister of the Cook Islands says securing a financial package with the European Investment Bank is timely news for many small to medium sized businesses.

The European Investment Bank has agreed to a package of 4.5 million US dollars to improve access for micro to medium enterprises in the Cook Islands.

Sir Terepai Maoate says he's been working for years to secure the deal that complements the two-million US dollar economic stimulus package included in the 2009/2010 budget.

Given the global economic recession, he says it provides some welcome relief for businesses and will help strengthen local infrastructure.

"I'm very grateful because our economies are very vulnerable, so it's very difficult for every one of the small island states to get on with their infrastructure development and the Cook Islands is doing its best. And that's something I'm always working on, especially those infrastructures that will help to improve the economy."

Sir Terepai Maoate says the signing of the loan is with the Bank of the Cook Islands and eligible businesses need to enquire with the bank on the terms.