The European Investment Bank (EIB) today announced the signing of its first credit line for financing of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Georgia, with Bank Republic, one of Georgia’s leading commercial banks.  The credit line is for EUR 35 million intended to support primarily projects of small and medium sized companies, including a tranche for small and medium scale energy and environment projects promoted by mid-sized corporates and public entities. 

This operation lies within the SME Eastern Partnership Initiative launched at the Prague European Union Summit in May 2009, and the framework of the joint IFI Action Plan in support of the banking systems and lending to the real economy.

The current loan is the second EIB Loan for SMEs provided in the Eastern Partner Countries, covering EIB lending operations in Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus [1] on the basis of an EU Council and Parliament mandate of EUR 3.7 billion for the period 2007-2013. It is expected to contribute to Georgia’s development objectives, in that it aims at helping predominantly small and medium size enterprises to mitigate the effects of the current credit crisis and improving their access to medium and long term finance at competitive interest rates. In addition, it also includes an up to 30% portion for mid-sized corporates and municipalities involved in energy efficiency and environmental initiatives. For this purpose, the EIB cooperates with Bank Republic, which is a well established financing institution in Georgia, by leveraging on its deep knowledge of the market and its ability to respond to its crucial financing needs.

Together with the imminent signature of a sovereign loan for the rehabilitation of the Vardnili & Enguri Hydro Power Plant for an amount of EUR 20m, EIB has now extended four loans totaling EUR 175 m to finance investments in Georgia, showing EIB’s strong commitment to the support of the sustainable economic development of the country in the context of the European Union’s initiatives with its Eastern Partners.


The mission of the EIB, the European Union’s bank which is owned by the 27 EU Member States, is to contribute to the integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion of the EU Member States by financing sound investment. In the Eastern Partner countries, EIB supports the EU Neighbourhood Policy by financing projects of significant interest to the EU. EIB started its operations in Georgia in October 2007.

Under the current mandate, the EIB can lend up to EUR 3.7 billion to projects in Eastern Europe, Southern Caucasus and Russia during the 2007–2013 period. In this context, the EIB is prepared to consider support to sound projects in the areas of transport, energy, telecommunications and environmental infrastructure. In addition, in Eastern Partnership countries, EIB can support SME’s through lending via banks.

To complement the mandate, EIB has set up the Eastern Partners Facility (EPF) at its own risk for an amount of EUR 1.5 billion, with EUR 500 million ceiling for projects in Russia.  This facility enables the Bank to support investment grade projects, notably EU Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in the region.

[1]  Belarus is subject to future Council and Parliament agreement.