EBRD and EU offer fresh funding for SMEs in Armenia

By Loretta  Martikian

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  • EBRD supports Armenia’s private sector in upgrading technologies to EU standards
  • Financing will help small businesses to invest in green technology
  • Loans complemented by technical advice and incentive grants from EU

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a US$ 5 million financial package to Inecobank in Armenia to facilitate the private sector’s transition to more sustainable, low-carbon and climate-resilient practices. The project is supported by the European Union (EU) with €523,000 of grant incentives.

The package comes under the EU4Business-EBRD Credit Line, with incentives for on-lending to local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that have potential to boost their exports. It will be used for investments in climate-change mitigation and adaptation as well as for upgrading technologies and services to EU standards while promoting the use of green technologies. This is the third project to be signed in Armenia under the programme, paving the way for more local enterprises to benefit from the framework.

The Credit Line is a flagship initiative helping local companies increase their competitiveness at home and abroad by upgrading their production facilities and processes to EU standards. At least 70 per cent of individual loans are used to finance investments in green technologies in accordance with the EBRD Green Economy Transition (GET) approach. Borrowers are eligible to receive incentive grants and technical advice funded by the European Union under its EU4Business initiative. The programme is also available in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

Dimitri Gvindadze, EBRD Head of Armenia, said: “This new funding will boost the competitiveness of local firms in Armenia by helping them to invest in modern technology. It will allow companies to strengthen their operations locally and take advantage of international trade opportunities.”

Ambassador Andrea Wiktorin, Head of Delegation of the European Union to Armenia, said: “The EU is committed to supporting small businesses in line with the Economic and Investment Plan for the Eastern Partnership and the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement. The EU4Business- EBRD facility will support green businesses which we believe are the future of Armenia. The overall contribution of the EU to the EU4Business-EBRD facility covering various Armenian banks is €6 million.”

Aren Naltakyan, CEO of Inecobank, said: “Holding a strong portfolio of private-sector lending, Inecobank has been supporting and providing customised solutions to businesses for 25 years, from the day it was established. Together with our longstanding partners, we are excited to announce this new opportunity, which allows our SME clients to build resilience and increase competitiveness, by also providing them with attractive incentives.”

 

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