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EU and EBRD launch new programme for SMEs in Mongolia

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo

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The European Union (EU) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) are joining efforts to help Mongolia diversify its economy with a new €3.8 million programme dedicated to small and medium-sized tnterprises (SMEs), launched in Mongolia’s capital Ulaanbaatar.

The five-year project “Support for SME Development in Mongolia” aims to improve the business environment in which local entrepreneurs operate and help Mongolian SMEs achieve their growth potential, boosting their role in the country’s economy.

The project is financed by the EU and implemented by the EBRD, together with Mongolia’s SME Agency, which launched its operations in 2009.

“This is the right project at the right time with the right focus,” explains Philip ter Woort, Head of EBRD Resident Office in Mongolia, adding: “It is important that the growth of Mongolia’s mining sector is complemented by strong efforts to diversify the economy and we expect the SME sector to play a leading role here.”

“Small and medium-sized tnterprises are essential to the economic success of Mongolia and its sustainability, as well as for poverty alleviation,” said Minister Counsellor Johan Cauwenbergh, Head of Operations of the EU Delegation to China and Mongolia, adding: “I believe that our cooperation and the project we launch today holds great significance for the economic prosperity of Mongolia. It will contribute to the well being of the Mongolian people as a whole.”

The project includes a series of integrated activities aimed at strengthening the capacity of the SME Agency and promoting reforms that would facilitate SME access to finance in Mongolia.  The new initiative will also focus on developing business support and consultancy services in Mongolia. In addition, the project will work with individual companies, helping them to improve their operational efficiency with support from Mongolian management consulting firms.

Since the beginning of its operations in Mongolia the EBRD has invested close to €420 million in various sectors of the country’s economy, mobilizing additional investment in excess of €700 million from other sources.

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