The EU4Business-EBRD credit line has provided several workshops for Georgian entrepreneurs, including nut farmers, wine exporters and meat processors, to explain how to use financing from the EBRD and EU for purchasing relevant equipment, modernising production and improving their services.
“The grant component provided by the EU under the credit line is important to our members, as the time-lag from the point when the investment is made through to the first harvest is three to four years,” said George Managadze, Deputy Head of the Association of Hazelnut Producers, who attended one of the workshops.
“The technical assistance provided as part of the credit line will help us to shape a suitable investment plan for members who are part of this improvement programme. Even though each grower will apply for a loan individually, this assistance can help us design one technical standard, which will benefit all individual investors in our group,” Mr Managadze added.
Hazelnut farmers are just one example of entrepreneurs that can benefit from the new trade arrangements with the EU. They include businesses from all economic sectors, for example textile or furniture exporters, food processors, car part wholesalers, IT companies and those in the tourism industry.
The EBRD loans are supported by over EUR 19 million of EU funds under the EU4Business initiative. Thanks to EU funding, up to 15 per cent of each loan taken up by an SME to finance investments to comply with DCFTA standards can be converted into a grant.