Small businesses in Moldova will be able to upgrade their operations to European Union (EU) standards with a new €10 million loan provided by the EBRD to ProCreditBank Moldova, the country’s fifth-largest lender by loan portfolio. The funds are provided within the EU4Business-EBRD credit line, to which the EU provides grant funding under its EU4Business initiative.
The funds will be available for investments to improve the products of Moldovan companies – both in the production process and in the quality of the end results – to strengthen their potential to succeed in the EU market and with EU competitors. Exporters must also meet EU standards in the areas of environmental protection, health and safety and product quality and safety.
Alain Pilloux, EBRD Vice President, Banking, said: “By meeting EU standards, businesses are in a position to further increase their exports. This is vital for them to grow – the EU is already Moldova’s biggest trade partner, with an estimated two-thirds of all exports heading to the single market. Making the most of this close relationship will be an important contribution to the country’s economic development.”
He was echoed by the Deputy CEO of ProCreditBank, Irina Coroi-Jovmir: “We believe that ProCreditBank, together with the EBRD, will be able to support investments in interesting, modern projects, and in this way contribute to the development of our clients’ businesses and create a positive impact on the Moldovan economy.”
Urszula Pałłasz, Chargé d'affaires at the EU Delegation to the Republic of Moldova, added: “On this occasion, I would like to highlight the EU's commitment to supporting SMEs’ development, as a vector for inclusive economic development. This objective is stressed in the first priority – a stronger economy – of the Eastern Partnership’s 20 deliverables for 2020.”
The Association Agreement signed between Moldova and the EU, which entered into force in July 2016, provides Moldovan producers with access to the EU’s single market. To make full use of the opportunities under the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA), local producers need to take steps to improve their competitiveness, for instance by upgrading their technology and equipment.
The EBRD is supporting these efforts with its EU4Business-EBRD credit line, which is available in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Through partner financing institutions such as ProCreditBank Moldova, it helps businesses to become more competitive and upgrade their product and service standards, thereby facilitating trade with the EU market. The EU supports this project as part of its DCFTA Facility for small and medium-sized enterprises.
The EBRD is the largest institutional investor in Moldova. Since the start of its operations in the country, the Bank has invested close to €1.3 billion in more than 120 projects in Moldova’s financial, agribusiness, energy, infrastructure and manufacturing sectors.