EBRD, EU help Georgian companies grasp new trade opportunities

Thu 04 May 2017 05:40 GMT | 09:40 Local Time

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The EBRD has confirmed a loan of $100 million-equivalent in the Georgian national currency lari, to local TBC Bank yesterday.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Union (EU) are providing financial services to Georgia to support the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country, according to agenda.ge.

The EBRD has confirmed a loan of $100 million-equivalent in the Georgian national currency lari, to local TBC Bank yesterday. This package will be split into three allocations:

One of up to $60 million local currency equivalent to help businesses converge with EU standards and take advantage of the free trade opportunities with the EU;

One of up to $20 million equivalent for SME finance to help the development of the private sector; and
Another of up to $20 million equivalent to support businesses managed or owned by female entrepreneurs.
This financing facility … will drive and motivate local businesses to take one step further and become more competitive on regional markets. We would like to express our gratitude to our long-standing partner the European Union for their cooperation in areas of critical importance for the development of Georgia,” said EBRD Director for the Caucasus, Moldova and Belarus Bruno Balvanera.

Long-term local currency financing is extremely important for the Georgian financial sector and we are proud to be the beneficiaries of such a complex transaction. This credit line will help TBC Bank to strengthen our leading role in the Georgian market,” added CEO of TBC Bank Vakhtang Butskhrikidze.

Meanwhile, an EU contribution of €19 million (approximately 50 million GEL) will serve to provide investment grants, technical assistance and training to partner financial institutions and enhance the ability of local banks to accept the risk related to SME lending.

We are therefore glad to extend our cooperation with TBC Bank, so that more Georgian SMEs can benefit from free trade opportunities with the European Union. Access to finance in local currency is a much-needed step in this direction and EU grant contribution will allow for affordable investments to bring production in line with EU standards,” said Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia Janos Herman.

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