The European Union's official development bank, the European Investment Bank (EIB), today opened its official regional office in Sydney, Australia.

The EIB reported that this office will serve fifteen countries and four Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) in the region and that the opening 'marks the completion of a series of five EIB external offices in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries where the Bank provides financial and technical assistance alongside the European Commission'.

According to the EIB's report, the main role of the office will be to 'help develop EIB operational activities in the Pacific, previously limited by travel distances and time differences in relation to EIB headquarters in Luxembourg' and that 'the positioning of the office in Sydney will facilitate communication and coordination links not only with potential project promoters, but also with other donors based in the region, such as the European Commission delegations, the World Bank/IFC and the Asian Development Bank, as well as AusAID and NZAid'. In this way, the 'the EIB will be able to strengthen and deepen the strategic role it plays in contributing to sustainable economic growth in the region'.

The EIB has contributed more than EUR 380 million to the development of Pacific countries since the start of its operations in the region.