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EBRD, EU providing 1.16 bln euro to SMEs in Moldova, Georgia, Ukraine

EBRD, EU providing 1.16 bln euro to SMEs in Moldova, Georgia, Ukraine Moldova

CHISINAU (Moldova), April 17 (SeeNews) - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said on Wedneday that together with the EU it is providing 1.16 billion euro ($1.31 billion) to small businesses in Moldova, Ukraina and Georgia.

Through partner banks, the EBRD provides 1.1 billion euro in credit lines and trade finance for SMEs in the three countries to pursue more trade with the EU by adopting European standards, the lender said in a statement.

This funding is complemented by 58.3 million euro in incentive payments and technical assistance from the EU under the EU4Business initiative.

“The free trade agreement with the EU opens up a plethora of new opportunities for businesses in Moldova and the EU4Business-EBRD credit line allows those companies not to miss out on the benefits from relations with the world’s biggest trading block," Head of Cooperation at the European Delegation to Moldova Aneil Singh said. "This programme not only makes it easier for local SMEs to adjust to European standards, but also ensures that the local population enjoys European quality products and services."

Among the companies that expanded their business with the EBRD-EU funding programme is Moldovan roof manufacturer RoofArt, which has invested in fully automated production lines for roof tiles.

The funding helped the company increase productivity, improve the quality of its output and decrease the per-unit cost of its products. 

“The brand new machinery helped us increase our capacity and we’re now producing up to 300,000 square meters of roof tiles per year. Now we can further differentiate our portfolio and expand our export markets," RoofArt CEO Ilarion Ursu said.

Now, the company has more than 300 partners all over the world, five teams of highly skilled roofers and performed over 600 projects  all over Moldova. More than 50% of its turnover is generated from sales of troughs, metal tiles and rainwater systems manufactured in the country. The remainder comes from imports of other types of roofing from abroad.

“When we entered the market, everything was new. We started from a tiny workshop, all elements were handmade. Now we employ about 60 people, the production process is automated and our company is the point of reference to others,” said Ursu, who has been with the company since its launch in 2001.

($= 0.8859 euro)