The EU and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said they will be stepping up their support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine with new financing.
The EBRD will provide over €250 million in credit loans to local financial institutions to make businesses more competitive. The loans will help SMEs benefit from the opportunities created by the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas (DCFTA) as well as other EU partnership agreements, such as the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement.
Meanwhile, the EU is providing €67.6 million in grants to support these investments through technical assistance, which will raise awareness of green technologies with high market potential and encourage sub-borrowers to adopt them by providing investment incentives. The EU is also supporting local currency financing.
The new funds are expected to be available in all six countries in the region. The EU4Business-EBRD Credit Line is already available in Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, countries, who have already signed the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the EU. It has already supported more than 250 enterprises, ranging from furniture producers and agribusinesses to tourism operators and businesses active in most sectors of the economy.
Christian Danielsson, Director-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations at the European Commission, said: “The EU is proud to extend its support to SMEs across the Eastern Partnership, making the region closer to the EU through trade opportunities, providing access to finance in local currency and progressing on the green agenda together with partner countries.”
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