IBK, Bpifrance sign deal to support SMEs

Bomi Yoon

Executives from the Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK) and Bpifrance pose during a signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on cooperation to support small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) of the two countries, at Bpifrance headquarters in Paris, Wednesday. Courtesy of IBK

By Yi Whan-woo

The Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Bpifrance, a public investment bank, to bolster cooperation between the two countries on supporting small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the IBK announced on Thursday.

A state-run lender, the IBK said the MOU is the first signed between the lenders of the two countries that operate in accordance with their respective government’s financial policies.

The signing, therefore, reflects Korea’s push to work closely with France to help startups here gain footings in Europe and expand business networks in the regions, the IBK explained.

“We’re hopeful that companies with high growth potentials from the two sides can advance to global markets and prosper as leaders of future innovation,” the IBK said. “We, through reciprocal cooperation with Bpifrance, will make corresponding support for the targeted firms to achieve their goals.”

Under the MOU, the Korean and the French lenders will offer support in financing, facilitate joint investment and conduct research in areas of mutual interest.

Bpifrance said it is “glad to help startups of the two countries understand their respective business ecosystems, and in particular, help the Korean firms to advance to France.”

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