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EBRD to provide technical assistance to Georgian businesses

Thursday, October 23
The European Bank for Reconstructions and Development (EBRD) will provide the Georgia’s small and medium-sized (SME) enterprises with the technical assistance to implement modern technologies in their businesses.

However, those companies that will receive the assistance must be established in the framework of the Government-led a 46 million GEL ($27 million USD) program, ‘Produce in Georgia’ launched June1.

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

In particularly, 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.

Furthermore, the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Giorgi Kvirikashvili believed the EBRD’s support would promote the potential of attracting foreign investments and using the new technologies at Georgia 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.

‘Produce in Georgia’ program initially supports 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), consulting service.

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

"We are pleased to sign the 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 are 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.

In particular, 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 US). The preferential period for credit will be two years and the state will be the collateral. (