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Vienna, 28 June 2012 Fekter: More financing leeway for export-sector SMEs Bill guarantee facility increased to EUR 1.2 billion

The Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF) intends to make it even easier for small- and medium-sized business entities (SMEs) that export goods and services from Austria to gain access to liquidity, and for this reason the federal government is increasing the export guarantee facility of the Exportfonds, the Austrian export credit agency, by EUR 200 million, to a total of EUR 1.2 billion. This increase underscores the correctness of the decision taken recently by the Austrian government to position the Exportfonds as the central service organisation for export-sector SMEs – significantly improving ease of access to short-time export financing for SMEs.

“SMEs, in particular, have a need for more leeway in accessing liquidity, and Exportfonds loans have proven to be particularly important in this area, especially during economically turbulent times”, Austrian Finance Minister Dr Maria Fekter emphasised in discussing the significance of the govenrment’s decision. “During economically challenging times, especially, we need to provide support to SMEs, because they are the backbone of the Austrian economy”, Dr Fekter went on to say. The government’s decision to increase the credit facility by EUR 100 million in March 2012 had been an important boost to many companies, enabling some just to stay in business and others to successfully expand their international activities. 

The Exportfonds provides credit facilities to SME exporters in order to finance their export receivables and orders. These facilities help companies to bridge production and payment periods. Exportfonds credit facilities can be used to finance up to 30% of annual export-sector revenues. The Exportfonds’ clients – just under 1600 business entities – include not only manufacturing sector companies, but also service-providers, such as planning and engineering firms, hotels, IT companies and many others. “The support of the FMF enables the Exportfonds to serve as a reliable partner to Austrian businesses, including in economically troubled times”, Dr Fekter stated in closing.