EBRD loan supports Carrefour to expand in Georgia

By Loretta  Martikian

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Improve quality standards of domestic food retailing, create jobs and provide opportunities for local suppliers

Carrefour supermarkets and hypermarkets will strengthen their presence in Georgia thanks to an investment by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

The EBRD is extending financing of up to US$ 39.5 million to Majid Al Futtaim, one of the largest developers and operators of shopping malls, retail and leisure destinations in the Middle East and North Africa.

Majid Al Futtaim is the holder of exclusive rights to the Carrefour franchise in 38 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia, including Georgia. The EBRD finance proceeds will be used by Majid Al Futtaim to open and operate new Carrefour retail stores across Georgia.

The expansion will improve the quality and variety of available products, provide greater choice at more affordable prices, improve hygiene standards and thereby increase healthy competition in this market segment.

“The presence of modern retailers like Carrefour will also help to create jobs and support the growth of modern retail in Georgia. A special emphasis will be put on helping local food producers. A key element in the EBRD-supported project is Majid Al Futtaim’s ongoing commitment to sourcing a high percentage of food supplies from local farms and producers,” said EBRD Director Gilles Mettetal, Acting Head of Industry, Commerce and Agribusiness.

“We are delighted to be collaborating with the EBRD to expand our Carrefour operations in Georgia,” said Eric Legros, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Retail. “Georgia is a developing market with immense potential for local suppliers, producers and farmers and even greater demand from residents for a large variety of affordable, high-quality goods. Through this financing facility, we are well positioned to realise this potential and meet this demand.”

The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Georgia. Since the start of its operations in the country, the EBRD has invested over €2.66 billion in 188 projects in the country’s financial, corporate, infrastructure and energy sectors, with 88 per cent of these investments being in the private sector.

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