The EBRD is providing a $12 million loan to Azerbaijan’s largest furniture manufacturer Embawood to finance further improvements of the company’s production facilities. The funds will be used to improve the quality control to maintain the high standards of the company. Parts of the loan will be used for energy efficiency improvements at its three production units.
The EBRD loan is complemented by a total of €120,000 in technical cooperation funds provided by the Early Transition Countries Initiative and the EU Neighbourhood Investment Facility through the Regional Energy Efficiency Programme for the Corporate Sector.
Embawood is the largest manufacturer and retailer of home and office furniture in Azerbaijan. It owns seven factories, three of which are in Azerbaijan, two in Georgia and one each in Ukraine and Uzbekistan. In addition, Embawood is represented in ten countries via a retail trade network of around 200 shops.
The EBRD started working with the company in 2003 through the Bank’s BAS (Business Advisory Services) and TAM (Turn Around Management) programmes, supporting the company in the development of its corporate governance, financial management, quality control and health and safety.
“We are pleased to expand our cooperation with Embawood helping to further strengthen the company’s operations. We are especially glad to support our client’s effort to control the quality of its production and to make its facilities more energy efficient with our funds. This is a further demonstration of the company’s commitment to quality, good corporate governance and social responsibility” said Paul-Henri Forestier, EBRD Director for Caucasus, Moldova and Belarus.
To date, the EBRD has signed 131 investments worth more than $2.1 billion in various sectors of the Azerbaijani economy. The developing manufacturing and services segment offers opportunities to reduce the country’s dependence on oil and gas revenues by strengthening economic diversification - one of the EBRD’s priorities in Azerbaijan.