The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to lend EUR 30m to TBC Bank, the largest bank in Georgia, in order to broaden the access to finance of Georgian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which represent more than 90% of companies active in the country.
The EIB funds will be provided in the framework of the European Union’s EU4Business initiative, designed to support SMEs in the six Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine). Around 600 Georgian SMEs are expected to benefit from the loan.
The EU bank has signed with the Georgian Ministry of Regional Development and the Georgian water utility company, the United Water Supply Company of Georgia, an Eastern Partnership Technical Assistance Trust Fund (EPTATF) Grant Agreement for an amount of EUR 3.25m. These funds will be used for the financing of specialised professional services to support the utility in the implementation of the EIB Kutaisi Waste Water project.
Under a finance contract dated 15 October 2015, the EU bank made available to the Georgian Ministry of Regional Development a loan of up to EUR 100m, which will improve the wastewater collection and treatment in Kutaisi. The project is part of Georgia’s Water Sector Rehabilitation Program which consists in a series of investments that aim at improving water supply in Kutaisi, Ureki, Poti and Zugdidi and wastewater collection and treatment in Kutaisi, Ureki and Poti (Kutaisi Waste Water project).
In these operations, the EIB has joined forces with the European Union to strengthen economic development in the countries that have signed Association Agreements with the EU – namely Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine – by providing financial and technical support targeted at SMEs in these three countries. The EU supports private sector development in the Eastern Partnership countries by enhancing access to finance for SMEs, improving the business environment and providing advisory services to local businesses.
Original source: EIB
Published on 27 September 2018