MSMEs are the backbone of the Georgian economy and contribute to job creation and economic growth. Despite significant progress in creating a conducive policy environment and a prioritization of MSME-driven policy by the government in the recent years, MSMEs still report difficulties in accessing finance as one of their key constraints.
The EU is supporting the implementation of Georgia’s MSME development strategy and helping local enterprises to reap the benefits of the Association Agreement, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA). As the EU Bank, the EIB Group is providing loans, guarantees and technical assistance via financial intermediaries to promote private sector development.
The seminar was introduced by the EIB Head of Regional Office, followed by a presentation by the EIB Economics Department on SME Finance Challenges, Opportunities and Impact. During a first moderated panel, the Minister of Economy, Governor of the National Bank of Georgia, Head of Cooperation of the EU and EIB Head of the Neighbourhood Banking Division discussed the state of access to finance of Georgian MSMEs and the role of the public policy interventions. Panelists provided their perspective on lessons learned over the recent years, current trends and an outlook on policy priorities for 2020. The second panel focused on the role of the private sector in promoting MSMEs access to finance and contributing to the sustainable and inclusive economic growth. Panelists from five leading banks and financial institutions in MSME finance, and representatives of the EU Delegation and EIB shared their operational experience, and discussed current challenges in reaching out to MSMEs and strategies to overcome them. A networking reception also took place.
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