The EBRD has been a major investor in the EU partnership countries since their independence at the end of 1991 and remains an important contributor. Total EBRD investments in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine to date amount to more than €15 billion, while the Bank has also mobilised over €20 billion in foreign direct investments.
Moldova’s and Georgia’s drive for greater regional integration will be one of the focuses at EU-led conferences in Chișinău and Tbilisi this week. The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and the EBRD’s Vice-President for Policy, András Simor, will be attending both events.
In Moldova the EBRD is the largest institutional investor and has (as of May 2014) signed 105 investments for a cumulative amount of €826 million for a total project value of more than €1.6 billion. One example is Danube Logistics, a US$12 million loan to finance the construction of a mixed gauge rail terminal.
In Georgia the Bank has invested (as of May 2014) €1.9 billion in 169 projects for a total project value of over €5.2 billion. The latest investment was a US$ 65 million syndicated loan to Wissol Petroleum Georgia, the first corporate sector syndication ever in the country with a local private partner and an international bank.
The EBRD’s activities and investments have been strongly supported throughout by the donor community through technical cooperation (TC) funding, investment grants and risk sharing facilities.
Between 2008 and 2012 alone, EBRD donors cumulatively committed over €275 million in support of projects in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine with activities ranging from investment preparation and implementation to institutional reform and regulatory development. The largest donor with a total of over €187 million is the European Union.
With the help and support of the donor community the EBRD also developed a number of regional programmes to address issues such as access to finance for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises or supporting the efficient and environment-friendly generation and consumption of energy.
Addressing these issues supports the countries’ development and makes investment more attractive and viable.
The EBRD launched the Early Transition Countries (ETC Initiative) in 2004 to increase transition and financing activity in its lowest-income countries of operation which include Georgia and Moldova. Common strategic priorities for the ETC countries include, among others, increasing access to finance, improving the business environment, supporting private sector development and upgrading infrastructure and energy efficiency.
The Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P) is a multi-donor fund managed by the EBRD to facilitate investments in energy efficiency and environmental projects aiming at reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the Eastern Partnership countries.
Georgia and Moldova, together with Armenia, joined the fund in October 2013 with the aim of improving their energy efficiency and reducing their import dependency.
The EBRD is involved in the Eastern Partnership SME Flagship Initiative through the SME Finance Facility, the SME Direct Support Facility and the Small Business Support programmes, all supported with funding from the EU Neighbourhood Financing Facility (NIF).
The Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia (TRACECA) is an international transport programme involving the EU and 14 member states from Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia. It focuses on maritime transport, aviation, road and rail, transport security and transport infrastructure and enhances its member states’ capacity to access European and world markets. The EBRD has given strong support to the TRACECA programme which in turn has provided technical cooperation support through funds, grants and risk sharing facilities.