EBRD will provide technical assistance to Georgian businesses

The signing ceremony of memorandum between EBRD and the Georgia’s Gov’t about “Produce in Georgia’ program.
Agenda.ge, 22 Oct 2014 - 12:21, Tbilisi,Georgia

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will provide Georgia’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with technical assistance to implement modern technologies in their businesses.

Companies that will receive the assistance must be established in the Government-led 46 million GEL program ‘Produce in Georgia’ which launched on June 1.

Meanwhile, the EBRD and the Government of Georgia signed a memorandum of understanding at the Prime Minister’s Administration on Wednesday, which outlined future cooperation of the financial institution and the Georgian authority.

In particular, the EBRD will support the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development and the Enterprise Development Agency to increase the competitiveness of SMEs and stimulate the enterprise development.

Georgia's Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Giorgi Kvirikashvili believed the EBRD’s support would promote the potential of attracting foreign investments and using new technologies within Georgia's SME sector.

"EBRD will finance the technical support of the projects that have already and will be approved by the Government within the ‘Produce in Georgia' scheme. This will enable companies to implement new technologies in their businesses,” Kvirikashvili said.

The ‘Produce in Georgia’ program initially supported any entrepreneur who decided to create a new industrial and agriculture enterprise. In this instance, the Government will offer assistance to the entrepreneur in three ways: financial accessibility, infrastructure accessibility (real estate) and consulting service.

EBRD’s director for the Caucasus, Moldova and Belarus, Bruno Balnavera believed the bank would provide staff, experience and consultancy to SME businesses in Georgia.

"We are pleased to sign this very important agreement with the Government of Georgia. EBRD will use all resources to benefit the program with technical assistance,” Balnavera said.

The Government of Georgia has approved 25 new projects within the ‘Produce in Georgia' scheme since the program launched in June. Some of the new businesses were agricultural and industrial enterprises, including in the greenhouse industry, a cattle-breeding facility, a poultry-raising factory, a second-hand paper production mill as well as construction materials production and a pharmacy.

According to the program, established businesses will be granted preferential loans from local commercial banks with low interest rates (11-13 percent), with the Government covering 10 percent of the interest cost. The credit line for those involved in industrial production enterprises ranged from $150,000 to $2 million USD. The preferential period for credit will be two years and the state will be the collateral.