The EBRD, EU and TBC Bank signed an agreement on 2 May to provide loans to help Georgian SMEs improve their products and services to compete in the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) set up by Georgia and the EU.
The agreement covers loans of USD 100 million in local currency (lari), organised as follows:
- USD 60 million to help SMEs to comply with the requirements of the DCFTA;
- USD 20m to support Georgian companies managed or owned by women entrepreneurs under the EBRD’s Women in Business programme, and
- USD 20m equivalent in Georgian Lari credit line will be dedicated to other local Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
The EU has contributed €19 million under the EU4Business initiative for investment grants, technical assistance and training to enhance the ability of local banks to accept the risk related with SME lending.
The EBRD and the EU support local SMEs in various ways by offering access to finance through the EU4Business-EBRD credit line, direct loans and advisory services. This helps them to improve product quality and modernise their services to EU standards, which will in turn boost cross-border trade and economic growth in Georgia.
TBC is one of Georgia's leading banks and has the largest asset base among banks with USD 135 million. It provides a variety of banking products and services to its customers and covers 40% of all lending to Georgian SMEs.
“Long-term local currency financing is extremely important for the Georgian financial sector and we are proud to be the beneficiaries of such a complex transaction,” commented Vakhtang Butskhrikidze, TBC Bank CEO.