Gebauer & Griller opens new Moldovan plant co-financed by EBRD

By Olga Rosca
@olgarosca

Gebauer & Griller’s €18 million cable manufacturing plant in Moldova’s second largest city, Bălți, has officially opened. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has provided a €5 million loan for the Austrian investor’s greenfield project.

Helping Gebauer & Griller expand and gain a foothold in Moldova is part of the EBRD’s effort to attract more foreign investment to the country. It is also a further demonstration of the Bank's support for the automotive sector supply chain throughout the countries where it invests.

Present at the opening ceremony, Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister, Valeriu Lazăr said: “The opening of Gebauer & Griller’s new plant in Bălți symbolises Moldova’s progress towards more complex economic activities.” He also stressed the government’s role in creating the necessary infrastructure for the manufacturing industry to develop. With its new plant, located in the Free Economic Zone of Bălți close to major customers, Gebauer & Griller will benefit from lower transportation and production costs, and will be able to deliver products to clients on a just-in-time basis.

Gerhard Griller, Chairman of the company’s supervisory board, said: “For its size and experience in foreign investments, Gebauer & Griller acted as a pioneer by building this cable factory in Moldova.”
When the deal was signed in 2013, Bruno Balvanera, EBRD Director for Caucasus, Moldova and Belarus, said: “At the EBRD we are particularly proud of this deal. This is the Bank’s first investment in Moldova’s automotive sector, which will bring know-how, innovation and an important boost for Moldova’s 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 Chișinău, the capital city, encouraging growth in less developed areas.”

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, the Slovak Republic and the United States, and now also in Moldova, where production began recently and is expected to reach full capacity by September 2014.
The EBRD is the largest institutional investor in Moldova. To date, the Bank has 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 intensive policy dialogue to tackle key transition challenges across sectors.