On 28 February and 1 March President Hoyer joined EU President Charles Michel on a mission to Moldova and Georgia, underlining the important role the EU Bank plays in Team Europe's effort to support the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood.
In Tblisi President Michel said, “The European Union remains committed to its partnership with all countries in the region, and that it stands firmly alongside Georgia.” He added, “I am delighted to be accompanied on this visit by Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank. A significant part of EU support is delivered through the European Investment Bank, the EU Bank. The European Investment Bank has provided around €1.8 billion to the local economy since 2007, of which €170 million recently in connection with COVID-19.”
This visit went hand in hand with the opening of a new office building for the EU institutions in Tbilisi. President Hoyer and President Michel were both present at the opening. The Bank’s Tblisi Regional Office is housed within the EU Delegation’s building.
President Hoyer signed a new operation in the presence of President Michel, extending EIB support to Georgian micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). The €2.5 million operation will allow Liberty Bank to expand an existing credit line to a total of €17.5 million – a much needed lifeline in the face of the pandemic .
The EU bank has been supporting the economic and social development of Georgia since 2007, providing some €1.85 billion to the local economy to date. The EU bank’s activities in the country have supported key infrastructure projects (€1 billion), MSMEs and mid-caps (€290 million), municipal infrastructure (€280 million) and green energy generation projects (€23.5 million). EIB Group supported COVID-19 recovery activities, as part of Team Europe, in 2020 totalled €170 million.
Georgia is among a few non-EU countries eligible to benefit from European Investment Fund (EIF) operations, designed to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with risk-sharing instruments. Today, the EIB Group portfolio of guarantees in Georgia covers €382.9 million of SME loans.
In Moldova, the two presidents met Moldovan President Maia Sandu to reaffirm Team Europe’s commitment to Moldova and EU support for President Sandu`s planned reforms, which aim to strengthen the rule of law and tackle corruption.
Speaking after the visit, President Hoyer said, “The EU Bank is playing a major role in Team Europe’s efforts in the Eastern Neighborhood: in bolstering recovery, building resilience and encouraging investment. We’re committed to supporting the kinds of initiatives and projects that make the EU a trusted and reliable partner for the region.”
The EU is Moldova’s largest trading partner and principal market for Moldovan exports. During the last ten years, the Union has provided over one billion euros in grants. The European Investment Bank has financed key projects in the energy sector and for SMEs. The European Investment Bank has around €847 million invested around 847 million in Moldova since the beginning of our operations in the country in 2007, supporting all key sectors of the local economy, and SMEs in particular. In 2020 alone the Bank provided € 20 million to aid the faster recovery of Moldovan SMEs from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read the press release to find out more about our support to Georgia