The European Investment Bank has said it expects to open its first permanent presence in Ireland later this year. 

Over the last five years the EIB has provided over €3.6 billion for new investment to improve transport, education, rural internet and flood protection across Ireland, as well as improving access to finance by small business.

The new Irish office is expected to be opened before the end of the year.

The EIB said the new office will enable greater contact with potential and existing borrowers, as well as a broad range of public, local authority and business stakeholders.

The plans for the new Ireland branch were confirmed by Andrew McDowell, the new European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for Ireland during his first working visit to Dublin since assuming office earlier this month.

"The European Investment Bank has played a key role in supporting Ireland's economic recovery in recent years and unlocking new investment across the country for the last four decades," Mr McDowell said. 

"It is essential that experience gained from tackling investment challenges elsewhere in Europe can be shared to continue to strengthen sustainable investment in Ireland. The new Dublin office will ensure that formal and informal links between Irish authorities and private sector partners build on this track record to ensure that opportunities to broaden EIB engagement are not lost," he added.  

"The expanded permanent presence of EIB staff in London, Amsterdam, Paris and Athens has reinforced the financial and technical contribution of the bank to enable support for first time schemes in new sectors flourish," he stated.