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PR(94)11: Surveillance Authority authorises state aid schemes in support of SMEs in Finland and Sweden

14.10.2002

The EFTA Surveillance Authority has authorised State aid schemes by the Finnish and Swedish authorities in support of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The aid schemes are to be introduced as temporary measures designed to reduce unemployment by promoting investment projects of small companies.

The Swedish scheme will be applied during the financial year starting on 1 July 1994 and ending on 30 June 1995, and has a budget of 800 million Swedish kronor. The aid will take the form of a grant with a maximum aid intensity of 15% (gross) of investment costs. Only investments where the total eligible capital expenditure does not exceed SEK 20 million will be supported. The scheme is open to small enterprises (as defined by the rules on aid to SMEs) regardless of their geographical location within the country.

lle Finnish aid covers investment in production premises built in 1994, as well as machinery and equipment ordered, supplied and put into use in 1994. The budget of the scheme is F1M 170 million. The aid is awarded in the form of a grant with a maximum aid intensity of 7 per cent of investment costs. Aid may cover only investments exceeding EM 50,000.

Sensitive industrial sectors such as the steel, motor vehicle and synthetic fibres industries are excluded from both schemes. The Finnish and Swedish authorities will ensure control of cumulation of aid from different sources in a manner deemed to be satisfactory by the Authority.

The aid schemes were examined by the Authority with regard to Article 61(3)(c) of the EEA Agreement and the rules on aid to small and medium sized enterprises. Given that the proposed schemes are in line with EEA rules on aid to SMEs, the Authority in bo th cases decided not to raise objections.

For further information on Swedish aid please contact Gudlaugur Stefansson (State Aid and Monopolies Directorate) at tel. 22 66 854, on Finnish aid please contact Maria Blässar at tel. 22 66 853. General information is available from Klaus Pendl (Press and Information Officer) at tel. 22 66 882.




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