Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-02-17-Speech-4-012-000"

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". Mr President, the rapid rate of economic growth in developing countries is passing huge swathes of people by. Even in African countries, economic growth sometimes hits double figures, as is evident in major cities, such as Addis Ababa. However, inequality is growing just as rapidly. It is women and farmers, especially, who are not being given enough opportunities to develop their livelihoods. One of the major barriers is access to financial services. Private banks simply have more confidence in traders making quick profits than they do in women and farmers. Public banks have an irreplaceable role to play here. With this legislative resolution, the EIB is therefore taking an essential step. The bank is no longer granting funds for just dams and roads, for large infrastructure projects of European companies. That arm of the bank’s operations needs to continue but, of course, with procedures which will allow all local stakeholders to be heard, according to the clear criteria of sustainability and social justice. Tax havens should not be given any chance in these projects. What is new is that the EIB will now also work to help small business owners in developing countries by opening the door for loans. That can be done via local banks, via microfinance institutions, although we need an additional amendment there, and via cooperation with Member States’ development banks. The EIB should be given further scope to develop its expertise internally, with sufficient staff. However, with this new dimension to its operations, the EIB is an indispensable tool for the European Union’s development policy, with a clear commitment to equal opportunities in developing countries and to sustainable economic growth. I would like to thank the EIB, my colleague, Mr Ivailo Kalfin and all the rapporteurs for their excellent cooperation."@en1

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