The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Union (EU) and TBC Bank have expanded a program to support small- and medium-sized businesses in Georgia.
New EU standards adopted by the partnership program will help make small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) more competitive internationally by offering opportunities presented through the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), according to an announcement.
The EBRD is extending a loan worth $100 million to TBC Bank to help the bank make loans to small and medium-size businesses.
The EU is offering $20.8 million in technical help, training and investment grants to help train local banks about the risks of SME loans.
“We are pleased to expand our support to small entrepreneurs in Georgia," Bruno Balvanera, EBRD director for the Caucasus, Moldova and Belarus regions, said in the announcement. "The DCFTA is an agreement that will shape Georgia’s future. This financing facility, which we launched today, 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."
Janos Herman, ambassador of the European Union to Georgia, said initiatives that help SMEs are "crucial for growing the economy.
"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," Herman said. "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."