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EBRD supports expansion of Austrian automotive cables manufacturer to Moldova

By Olga Rosca

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is supporting an increase in foreign investment in Moldova with financing for the expansion plans of Austrian cable and wire manufacturer, Gebauer & Griller Kabelwerke GmbH.

A €5 million EBRD loan will co-finance Gebauer & Griller’s €18 million greenfield cable manufacturing plant in the Free Economic Zone of Bălți, Moldova’s second largest city. With its new plant located close to the major customers, the company will benefit from lower transportation and production costs, and will be able to deliver its products to clients on a “just in time” basis.

Friederike Jacquelin, CEO and partner of Gebauer & Griller, said: “We consider it a special distinction that the EBRD supports our project in Moldova. This support from the EBRD confirms our strategic decision to follow our biggest customers in order to offer them quick and flexible on-site delivery with our single core cables. We also see significant potential for economic growth in this region and we want to be part of it. Gebauer & Griller is proud of having made this important step in continuing the company’s international expansion.”

Helping Gebauer & Griller expand in Moldova and gain a foothold in the eastern European market is a part of the EBRD’s effort to support the supply chain of the automotive sector throughout the countries the Bank invests in.

Bruno Balvanera, the EBRD’s Director for Caucasus, Moldova and Belarus, said: “At the EBRD we are particularly proud of this deal. First, this is the EBRD’s first investment in Moldova’s automotive sector, which will help bring know-how, innovation and an important boost for Moldova’s limited manufacturing industry. It also helps the country attract much-needed foreign investment that will generate jobs and foster competition. In addition, the investment goes beyond Chisinau, the capital city, encouraging growth in less developed zones.”

Founded in 1940, Gebauer & Griller Kabelwerke GmbH is an Austrian family-owned manufacturer of cables and wires, primarily for the automotive industry but also for other industries. It operates in Austria, the Czech Republic, India, Mexico, Slovakia and the United States, and now also in Moldova, where production has recently started and is expected to reach full capacity by September 2014.

The EBRD is the largest institutional investor in Moldova, and has, to date, signed some 100 investments in the country, covering the energy, transport, agribusiness, general industry and banking sectors, for a cumulative amount of over €900 million. The EBRD is also pursuing an intensive policy dialogue to tackle key transition challenges across sectors.

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