The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Monday signed a USD 41 million finance package with the Bank of Maldives (BML) to support locally owned small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and tourism companies in the Maldives.
ADB arranged, structured, and syndicated the financing package, which comprised a loan of up to USD 13 million from ADB’s ordinary capital resources, a parallel loan of up to USD 13 million from the Japan International Cooperation Agency, and a parallel loan of up to USD 5 million from the Development Bank of Austria.
According to the ADB's statement, at least 60 percent of the loan package will be earmarked for lending to SMEs, and five percent will be allocated to women-owned or led firms.
In an effort to improve development impact and address bankability issues relating to blue economy transactions in the Maldives, the bank has also blended the project’s debt financing with a concessional loan of up to USD 9 million from the Canadian Climate Fund for the Private Sector in Asia II (CFPS II) and a grant of up to USD 1 million from the bank's Asian Development Fund (ADF)—Private Sector Window (ADB-PSW).
"The blue economy is crucial to future prosperity in the Maldives, as its people and economy are intrinsically linked to the health and wealth of the ocean, coral reefs, beaches, and marine life. However, investments in the blue economy, including by SMEs and through climate adaptation projects, have been lacking," said ADB Director General for Private Sector Operations Suzanne Gaboury.
"This partnership with BML will deliver much-needed financing to the tourism sector and support climate projects and locally owned SMEs, including those owned and run by women."
The CFPS II loan and PSW grant will support BML’s capacity to support and promote climate change mitigation and adaptation projects focused on the blue economy.