The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending EUR 22.5 million – the first tranche of an approved loan of EUR 45 million – to JSC Bank Republic to finance SMEs and midcaps engaged in trade and commerce in Georgia.
Mr László Baranyay, EIB Vice-President responsible for lending operations in the Eastern Partnership countries, stated: “A strong SME and midcap sector is of crucial importance for Georgia’s economic growth, employment and political stability. EIB funds provided on favourable terms will improve access to finance for companies that mostly face difficulties in financing their activities.”
The EIB loan will be used to fund activities strengthening Georgia’s private sector by widening access to finance for investment and working capital needs for SMEs and midcaps, particularly in the areas of trade and commerce. It is highly relevant in the context of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement, which includes a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (AA/DCFTA).
This loan builds on the successful cooperation between the EIB and JSC Bank Republic. In 2010 the EIB granted this bank a EUR 35 million loan.
The current operation brings the volume of signatures for SMEs and midcaps in Georgia to EUR 172 million. Total EIB lending commitments in Georgia amount to some EUR 820 million, including projects supporting urban reconstruction following last year’s devastating floods and for improving the country’s critical infrastructure. As well as supporting SMEs and midcaps, the EU Bank has also financed projects in Georgia in the transport, water and energy sectors.