Georgia: EBRD and EU to unlock funds for locals firms through Bank of Georgia and TBC Bank

Published in Economics
Monday, 19 September 2022 10:50

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) President Odile Reno-Basso, on a visit to Georgia, has signed agreements with two Georgian banks on loans to local small businesses.

The EBRD will provide new US$ 20 million loans to Bank of Georgia and to TBC Bank to help local firms across the country increase competitiveness and invest in upgrades, including green technologies. 

This funding comes under the EU4Business-EBRD Credit Line – a flagship programme that enables borrowers to enhance production and trade more successfully on the international market, as well as advance environmental practices.

MSMEs can access funds in local currency and benefit from incentive grant funding, as well as technical assistance from international advisers, funded by the EU under the EU4Business initiative. Georgian companies will be able to improve their productivity, competitiveness and working environment for their employees.

Find out more

Press release on the loan to the Bank of Georgia

Press release on the loan to the TBC Bank

EBRD President to visit Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia

Published in Economics
Monday, 12 September 2022 10:16

The President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Odile Renault-Basso, will tour the Caucasus next week, from 12 to 16 September, to meet senior government officials and business clients and partners. She will first visit Azerbaijan, then Georgia, before finishing in Armenia.

This is her first in-person visit to the region since assuming office in late 2020.

Prior to her departure, the EBRD President held virtual meetings with a diverse group of Azerbaijani, Georgian and Armenian civil society representatives.

In Baku, in addition to important meetings, the EBRD President will sign the agreement for the Bank’s second Green City project in Azerbaijan and launch a joint project with AzPromo, the national investment promotion agency, aimed at stimulating the telecommunications, media and technology sector in the country.

In Tbilisi, Odile Renault-Basso will hold different meetings and sign loan agreements with long-standing partners in the financial and healthcare sectors.

The EBRD President will conclude her trip in Yerevan, where she will meet Armenia’s political leadership and the EBRD’s partners. Renaud-Basso will also visit the Centre for Creative Technologies (TUMO), where she will meet leaders of Armenia’s hi-tech sector, and attend celebrations for the 15th anniversary of the EBRD-supported Investment Council of Armenia.

I am very much looking forward to visiting the Caucasus, where the Bank has achieved some remarkable results during its 30 years of operation. Despite its size, the region remains an important investment destination for us, one where we have already invested more than €10 billion,” said Renaud-Basso prior to her visit.

Find out more

Press release

EBRD and US join forces to help Ukraine

Published in World
Tuesday, 23 August 2022 11:55

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the United States of America have joined forces to respond to the impact of the war on Ukraine. The United States of America has announced it will contribute US$ 500 million in donor funds to the EBRD’s response to the war on Ukraine.

The funding comes in the form of grants to support investment. It marks a significant milestone in the Bank’s fundraising efforts, which have mobilised some €1 billion for Ukraine and affected countries so far.

The contribution agreement we are signing today between the USA and the EBRD has come at exactly the right time. We will start deploying it in Ukraine and neighbouring countries as soon as we can,” said Odile Renaud-Basso, the EBRD President.

Find out more

Press release

EBRD supports Ukraine’s Bank Lviv with €10 million loan for lending to SMEs affected by war

Published in World
Thursday, 18 August 2022 13:27

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced that it will support Ukraine’s Bank Lviv with up to €10 million to lend to private enterprises, including food security clients and those who have relocated their businesses to western Ukraine.

The EBRD’s share of €4.25 million will be complemented by up to €5.75 million funding from other lenders, including €4.75 million jointly contributed by the European Fund for Southeastern Europe (EFSE) and the Green for Growth Fund (GGF).

The loan falls within the EBRD’s Resilience and Livelihoods Framework (RLF) for companies and countries affected by Russia’s war on Ukraine, which began on 24 February. With donors and partners, the EBRD has pledged to invest €1 billion into the Ukrainian economy this year.

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Press release

Chernobyl: EBRD says it will need at least €100 million to repair the damage caused by Russia

Published in Economics
Wednesday, 18 May 2022 15:21

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is calling on international donors to help repair the damage to the Chernobyl nuclear plant caused by Russia’s reckless actions.

The bank, which has been at the forefront of efforts to rebuild Chernobyl, says it will need at least €100 million to do so.

“Russia’s military occupation of Chernobyl has thrown into uncertainty decades of international cooperation in helping make safe the site of the world’s worst nuclear accident,” says the EBRD.

Find out more

Press release

Chernobyl events putting at risk decades of efforts to secure nuclear site – EBRD

EBRD adopts new country strategy for Georgia

Published in Economics
Tuesday, 21 December 2021 12:22

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has adopted a new country strategy for Georgia for 2022-27, with three key priorities:

Enhancing the competitiveness of Georgian companies

The EBRD stands ready to help companies, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), boost their productivity and resilience by enhancing their competitiveness and improving their access to finance, for instance, through investments in digitalisation. The Bank will also continue its work to deepen the local capital market to provide companies with a wider variety of financing options.

Promoting inclusion and regional development

The Bank will step up its efforts to support access to skills development, especially for young people, women and other marginalised groups, supporting job creation, also in regions outside the capital, Tbilisi. Better access to finance and essential municipal services for regional populations is a key focus of the EBRD’s work.

Supporting Georgia’s green economy transition

The EBRD is well positioned to help accelerate Georgia’s green economic transition by supporting initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase the use of renewable energy. Based on the EBRD’s Green Economy Transition approach and building on its strong track record in this field, the Bank will combine investments in renewable energies with policy engagement. It will support the reform of state-owned enterprises, including greater energy and resource efficiency, and continue to expand its Green Cities framework.

Georgia has made great efforts in recent years to advance reforms and create a sustainable market economy. The new EBRD strategy will support the Georgian economy, significantly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, in its recovery and further development.  

The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Georgia. Since it started operating in the country, the Bank has invested more than €4.53 billion in 269 projects in the financial, corporate, infrastructure and energy sectors, with 78 per cent of these investments in the private sector.

By This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Source: https://www.ebrd.com/news/2021/ebrd-adopts-new-country-strategy-for-georgia.html

 

TBC Bank in Georgia to receive EBRD and EU funding to boost small companies

Published in Economics
Friday, 22 October 2021 10:31

The EBRD will provide a €25 million loan to the TBC Bank in Georgia for on-lending to local firms. At least 70 per cent of this funding aims to help micro-, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Georgia become greener and more competitive.

The EU will complement the loan with grants and free technical assistance for those who borrow, under its EU4Business initiative.

The package will allow companies to upgrade their products and services and bring them in line with EU standards. It will also modernise their production and assist them to operate more successfully in foreign markets.

The support is being extended under the EU4Business-EBRD Credit Line, a joint financing instrument available in Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, which aims to make local firms greener and more competitive. Since the launch of the programme in 2016, 170 Georgian companies have benefited from the scheme.

How to help your business recover after COVID

Published in Economics
Tuesday, 07 September 2021 20:18
  1. 1.       COVID hit my business badly. Where can I get some financing to recover?

The EU offers financing and guarantees to local financial institutions to unlock lending. This makes it possible for the local lender to provide more affordable financing to SMEs. For instance, you could benefit from lower-interest loans, longer repayment terms, lower collateral requirements, including some loans based in lari instead of foreign currencies. Check what these banks in Georgia have to offer under the EU4Business Initiative:Microfinance Organisation Crystal, Basisbank, Bank of Georgia, TBC Bank, TBC Leasing.

Here are some examples of SME owners who benefited:

Natia Khelaia, CFO at Food Alliance, a company offering high-quality frozen pastry, received a loan of through the EU4Business-EBRD Credit Line, which includes a 15% cash-back incentives funded under the EU4Business initiative. This enabled the company to add necessary inventory and equipment to its factory, expanding production while increasing efficiency by 50%. 

Mikheil Melua expanded production capacity of his bay leaf production company Black Sea Laurus, acquired modern equipment, and established food safety standards in line with EU practice with support from the EU4Business-EBRD Credit Line. As a result, Black Sea Laurus generated 8 new permanent and some 100 seasonal local jobs, and launched exports to European markets, doubling production and income both.

  1. 2.       How do I apply for a bank loan? What are the requirements?

The EU offers a wide range of options for different types of SMEs. For instance, the EU provides concessionary loans to underserved micro-enterprises and low-income households as well as SMEs in the agri-food sector, manufacturing, services, real estate. There are also attractive opportunities for the businesses seeking to boost trade with the EU and upgrade their businesses to the EU standards as well as for the women-led SMEs.

You can check the conditions for the EU partner banks on the EU4Business website and just call the bank directly. Remember to mention the programme. Very simple!

  1. 3.       I’ve heard about loans, but are grants also available to small companies?

Yes, there are!

For instance, the most efficient and sustainable local solutions to improve food production and reduce rural poverty may get grants under the ENPARD III programme implemented by the UNDP.

  1. 4.       The pandemic showed that there is sustainable demand for my business. How can I get knowledge, advice and skills needed to scale up my business?  

To support SMEs like yours, the EU assists local business associations and agencies, leading to SME growth. Just check all available business development opportunities, pick the one that suits your needs, and get in touch directly with the organisation!

Under the project “EU Innovative Action for Private Sector Competitiveness in Georgia”, nursery owners can attend a series of trainings and workshops to receive practical knowledge on how to align the Georgian production of seedlings with the international standards and best practices of European countries.

The EU project “Green Economy: Sustainable Mountain Tourism and Organic Agriculture” (GRETA), offers support to local initiatives in sustainable gastronomic tourism and organic agriculture. Local businesses can get the relevant knowledge, find out about opportunities of cooperation and earning income, and make new contacts.

Under the ENPARD III project, farmers, rural households, cooperatives and other small and medium enterprises in rural areas can apply for access to better services and inputs. They can benefit from pilot activities for farmers including various types of demonstration, information dissemination, and training.

If you own a business in the construction, tourism or apparel sectors, the Clusters 4 Development – Better Business Sophistication in Georgia project implemented by the GIZ might be of interest to you. It helps increase SME competitiveness through the development of clusters.

If you want to improve your coding and tech entrepreneurship skills, the Development of youth coding and tech entrepreneurial club networks programme may be for you – during the next 3 years, tech clubs will appear in 100 locations across 8 regions of Georgia.

Women-led businesses can benefit from the EU4Business Women in Business Advisory Programme implemented by the EBRD to access know-how to transform their businesses. This covers a wide range of topics, from the technical knowledge to build a website, for example, or to introduce a quality management system that meets ISO standards, improve energy efficiency or improve Human Resources management. These usually involve working with qualified local consultants with a portion of the net costs reimbursed.

Alongside financial support, the following programmes provide consultancy and business development opportunities for SMEs to better utilise the free trade opportunities: DCFTA Initiative East by EIB supports SMEs in the agri-food sector, and the DCFTA Programme by EBRD may help you to resolve the challenges in utilising the opportunities offered by the DCFTA. The DCFTA SME Direct Finance Facility helps SMEs identify quality capital investment projects.

You can even make sure your voice is heard in the national reform process and help your government to better understand issues affecting SMEs like yours! Just check the business enabling environment activities in Georgia supported by the EU.

  1. 5.       I think exporting to the EU could help my business recover. Where do I start?

Indeed, that’s a great way to scale up your business! And we have something interesting to offer.

The EU4Business: Connecting Companies project supports SMEs with exports going to EU countries. You can apply for training, coaching and even matchmaking with businesses in the EU.

The EU4Business Eastern Partnership Trade Helpdesk will facilitate you in identifying trade obstacles and better understanding regulatory and procedural issues in trading goods and services. Soon, this one-stop-shop online platform will be available that will offer access to trade information (tariffs, non-tariff measures, taxes, trade statistics and procedures).

Alongside financial support, the following programmes provide consultancy and business development opportunities for SMEs to better utilise the free trade opportunities: the DCFTA Initiative East by EIB supports SMEs in agri-food sector, and the DCFTA Programme by EBRD may help you to resolve the challenges utilising the opportunities offered by the DCFTA. The DCFTA SME Direct Finance Facility helps SMEs identify quality capital investment projects.

 1.6.       Are there SMEs like me that got help?

There are more than you can imagine!

Between 2019-2020, 55,181 SMEs in Georgia received support through the EU4Business Initiative. Among those, a total of 5,621 entrepreneurs received loans for a total value of €307.25 million under EU programmes that support SMEs. Over 48,642 consultancy services were delivered to SMEs. The income of these supported SMEs rose by 9.4% in 2020 amounting to almost €69.86 million, and 10,055 new jobs were generated as a result of this support in 2020 alone.

Here are some success stories from SMEs like yours:

Gano Melitaurireceived EU4Business support to procure new sewing equipment in the middle of the pandemicso that her company Kombinezona did not have to halt production. Instead, they shifted their focus to making antibacterial face masks and protective gear, were able to employ more people, and distributed a good number of free masks.

Baia Saluqvadze and Levan Bolqvadze, co-founders of Agritrade,purchased a new calibration line, a vertical elevator, and conveyor with the support from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the EU as part of its ENPARD and EU4Business Initiative. Agritrade’s Kakheti hazelnuts can now be directly exported to China, generating more export opportunities.

Click here for more success stories to learn about Georgian SMEs that are doing business in many different areas and have benefitted from EU support.

 The material is prepared within the project "EU NEIGHBOURS east"

EBRD Literature Prize 2021: Finalists announced

Published in Culture
Friday, 07 May 2021 15:31
  • Three novels in English translation by Nana Ekvtimishvili (Georgia), Szczepan Twardoch (Poland) and Matei Vişniec (Romania) shortlisted for €20,000 prize
  • Winner announced on 1 June 2021

Three novels have been announced as the finalists of the fourth EBRD Literature Prize, a €20,000 award launched in 2017 by the London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), in collaboration with the British Council.

The EBRD Literature Prize celebrates the very best in translated literature from the almost 40 countries where the Bank invests, from Central and eastern Europe to Central Asia, the Western Balkans and the southern and eastern Mediterranean.

The €20,000 Prize is awarded to the best work of literary fiction originally written in a language from one of these countries, which has been translated into English and published by a UK or a Europe-based publisher.

The three finalists for this year’s Prize, in alphabetical order, by author, are:

  • The Pear Field by Nana Ekvtimishvili, translated by Elizabeth Heighway (Peirene Press). Language: Georgian. Country: Georgia.
  • The King of Warsaw by Szczepan Twardoch, translated by Sean Gasper Bye (Amazon Crossing). Language: Polish. Country: Poland.
  • Mr K Released by Matei Vişniec, translated by Jozefina Komporaly (Seagull Books). Language: Romanian. Country: Romania.

The EBRD Literature Prize is one of the few international literature prizes which recognises both author and translator in equal measure: the winning title will receive the top prize of €20,000, which will be split evenly between the author and the translator, and the two runner-up titles will receive €8,000, similarly divided.

The winner of the EBRD Literature Prize 2021 will be announced on 1 June.

Toby Lichtig, Chair of Judges, said, “I and my fellow judges are delighted with this list of finalists, which attests to the boundless ingenuity of the human literary imagination. A kafkaesque fable about Romania’s transition from Communism to democracy; a hard-hitting evocation of 1930s Warsaw, complete with Jewish gangsters, street slang and hopes for a better future; a beautiful, brutal and life-affirming tale about the bonds of child friendship, and scars of adult neglect, in a Tbilisi “school for the intellectually disabled” – each of these novels is, in its own way, compelling, shocking, enchanting, memorable, brilliantly rendered and entirely original.”

Read the Judges’ reviews of the three shortlisted titles

The independent panel of judges for this year’s Prize chose the three finalists from 10 longlisted titles, announced on 11 March. The longlisted titles, in alphabetical order by author, were:

Love in the Days of Rebellion by Ahmet Altan, translated by Brendan Freely and Yelda Türedi (Europa Editions). Language: Turkish. Country: Turkey.

The Pear Field by Nana Ekvtimishvili, translated by Elizabeth Heighway (Peirene Press. Language: Georgian. Country: Georgia.

Grey Bees by Andrey Kurkov, translated by Boris Dralyuk (MacLehose Press, an imprint of Quercus). Language: Russian. Country: Ukraine

Carbide by Andriy Lyubka, translated by Reilly Costigan-Humes and Isaac Stockhouse Wheeler (Jantar Publishing Ltd). Language: Ukrainian. Country: Ukraine

Hana by Alena Mornštajnová, translated by Julia and Peter Sherwood (Parthian Books). Language: Czech. Country: Czech Republic.

No-Signal Area by Robert Perišić, translated by Ellen Elias-Bursac (Seven Stories Press). Language: Croatian. Country: Croatia.

The Highly Unreliable Account of the History of a Madhouse by Ayfer Tunç translated by Feyza Howell (Istros Books). Language: Turkish. Country: Turkey.

The King of Warsaw by Szczepan Twardoch, translated by Sean Gasper Bye (Amazon Crossing). Language: Polish. Country: Poland.

Mr K Released by Matei Vişniec, translated by Jozefina Komporaly (Seagull Books). Language: Romanian. Country: Romania.

Your Ad Could Go Here by Oksana Zabuzhko, translated by Nina Murray, Marta Horban, Marco Carynnyk, Halyna Hryn, and Askold Melnyczuk

(Amazon Crossing). Language: Ukrainian. Country: Ukraine.

The EBRD Literature Prize is a project of the Bank’s Community Initiative, a programme which provides a framework for the engagement of staff and the institution in philanthropic, social and cultural activities in the regions where the Bank works.

By This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Source: https://www.ebrd.com/news/2021/-ebrd-literature-prize-2021-finalists-announced.html

The news prepared in the framework of the EU project "EU NEIGHBOURS east"

EBRD Literature Prize 2021: selected longlist announced

Published in Culture
Friday, 19 March 2021 15:56
  • The Prize recognises the best works of literary fiction from the EBRD’s regions translated into English
  • Longlist features work translated from eight languages
  • Winner of €20,000 prize to be announced in May

The EBRD Literature Prize 2021, launched by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to promote translated literary fiction from its regions of operations, announces its selected longlist today. 

This is now the fourth year of the EBRD Literature Prize which celebrates the very best in translated literature from the nearly 40 countries where the Bank invests: from central and eastern Europe to Central Asia, the Western Balkans and the southern and eastern Mediterranean.

The €20,000 Prize is awarded to the best work of literary fiction originally written in a language from one of these countries, which has been translated into English and published by a UK or a Europe-based publisher.

The international prize was created in 2017 by the EBRD with funding provided by the members of the EBRD, in cooperation with the British Council. It is one of the few international literature prizes which recognises both author and translator in equal measure.

The independent panel of judges for the EBRD Literature Prize 2021 has selected 10 novels that they consider outstanding works of storytelling. In total, eight languages feature on the selected longlist, which represents a fascinating mix of cultures from across the EBRD regions of operations.

Toby Lichtig, Chair of the Judges, said: “Given the diversity of territories covered by the EBRD, it is perhaps unsurprising how varied and culturally rich this longlist is, both thematically and stylistically. The ten books move us from 1930s Warsaw to 1950s Czechoslovakia to contemporary Ukrainian no man’s land; from a Kafakaesque tale of judicial injustice to an absurdist tragicomedy of human smuggling; from the dying days of the Ottoman Empire to an alternative Balkans hauling itself into the present day. Taken together, they give a picture of an Eurasian region riven with the scars of war and displacement, cruelty and carelessness, and teeming with human resilience and ingenuity. And love. Each book is unique, each translation brilliantly realised.”

The longlist titles, in alphabetical order by author, are:

Love in the Days of Rebellion by Ahmet Altan, translated by Brendan Freely and Yelda Türedi (Europa Editions). Language: Turkish. Country: Turkey.

The Pear Field by Nana Ekvtimishvili, translated by Elizabeth Heighway (Peirene Press. Language: Georgian. Country: Georgia.

Grey Bees by Andrey Kurkov, translated by Boris Dralyuk (MacLehose Press, an imprint of Quercus). Language: Russian. Country: Ukraine

Carbide by Andriy Lyubka, translated by Reilly Costigan-Humes and Isaac Stockhouse Wheeler (Jantar Publishing Ltd). Language: Ukrainian. Country: Ukraine

Hana by Alena Mornstajnova, translated by Julia and Peter Sherwood (Parthian Books). Language: Czech. Country: Czech Republic.

No-Signal Area by Robert Perisic, translated by Ellen Elias-Bursac (Seven Stories Press). Language: Croatian. Country: Croatia.

The Highly Unreliable Account of the History of a Madhouse by Ayfer Tunc, translated by Feyza Howell (Istros Books). Language: Turkish. Country: Turkey.

The King of Warsaw by Szczepan Twardoch, translated by Sean Gasper Bye (Amazon Crossing). Language: Polish. Country: Poland.

Mr K Released by Matei Visniec, translated by Jozefina Komporaly (Seagull Books). Language: Romanian. Country: Romania.

Your Ad Could Go Here by Oksana Zabuzhko, translated by Nina Murray, Marta Horban, Marco Carynnyk, Halyna Hryn, and Askold Melnyczuk

(Amazon Crossing). Language: Ukrainian. Country: Ukraine.

The EBRD Literature Prize is a project of the Bank’s Community Initiative, a programme which provides a framework for the engagement of staff and the institution in philanthropic, social and cultural activities in the regions where the Bank works.

The Chair of the Community Initiative, Kazuhiko Koguchi, said today: The Literature Prize reminds us of the wealth of creativity and cultures across our regions of operations, and highlights the role of storytelling in connecting us all and building bridges across borders.

The finalists (three authors and their translators) of the EBRD Literature Prize 2021 will be announced on 3 May 2021. All will be invited to attend the award ceremony later that month (date to be determined), where the winner of the EBRD Literature Prize 2021 will be announced.

The news prepared in the framework of the EU project "EU NEIGHBOURS east"

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