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PR(03)27: The EFTA Surveillance Authority authorizes a new temporary Regional Loan Scheme in Norway

22.10.2003

The EFTA Surveillance Authority decided today not to raise objections to a temporary regional loan scheme introduced by the Norwegian authorities. 

The Norwegian Industrial and Regional Development Fund (SND) will administer the scheme. The total amount of loans to be granted under the scheme is NOK 500 million (some EUR 61 million). An amount of NOK 75 million (some EUR 9 million) is allocated to a special Loss Fund under the scheme.

The main objective of the scheme is to support economic development in outlying regions in Norway. Loans may be granted for investment and job creation in regions already approved for regional aid by the Authority. Loans may also be granted for research and development projects, for training, to shipbuilding, to small and medium-sized enterprises outside the regional aid area, and in connection with rescue and restructuring of firms in difficulties. In each case the scheme provides that any aid granted is within the limits set by the various state aid provisions under the EEA Agreement. Against this background, and also after having assessed the way aid is calculated in relation to each loan, the Authority concluded that the scheme is compatible with the state aid rules of the EEA Agreement. 

For further information, please contact Mr. Amund Utne on tel. + 32 2 286 1850.

22 October 2003




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