SANTIAGO, March 19 (Reuters) – Chile signed a 15-year credit line for $1 billion with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to promote the development of small and medium-sized companies, the Ministry of Finance reported on Sunday.

The Washington-based agency had approved the plan in early December to “increase productivity and promote sustainable development.”

Chilean Finance Minister Mario Marcel signed the agreement for the establishment of a conditional credit line for investment projects (CCLIP) during an annual IDB meeting in Panama.

“This operation will basically provide loans to (state development office) Corfo as a second-tier bank to channel to SMEs through non-banking institutions,” the official was quoted as saying in a statement.

The initiative seeks to promote sustainable development in the finance and climate action sectors, he said. (Reporting by Fabian Andrés Cambero in Santiago Translating by Jackie Botts Editing by Matthew Lewis)