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Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Georgia will benefit from enhanced advisory services to advance their digitalisation and access to capital markets against the backdrop of Covid-19 pandemic.

Backed by €1.8 million in EU funding, the EBRD will help local firms with their digital transformation to avoid interruptions to their operations because of the pandemic and rebuild their businesses with a focus on sustainable and green practices.

The EBRD is delivering its support with Team Europe to increase the resilience and agility of the private sector.

In parallel, the EBRD will assist the National Bank of Georgia with the design and implementation of support mechanisms facilitating access to capital markets – both debt and equity – for local corporates, including SMEs. Targeted support will enhance Georgian companies’ preparedness for capital markets, broaden their funding sources and help attract financing from domestic and international investors.

Companies can receive tailor-made advisory services and technical support to improve their corporate governance, transparency and credit rating to source investments across capital markets.

The new funding builds on the successful implementation of a previous phase that supported strengthening the competitiveness of the country’s SME sector.

Catarina Bjorlin Hansen, EBRD Regional Director for the Caucasus, said: ‘’The pandemic and its economic impact have created a new reality for the private sector and now is the time to rethink, re-educate, reskill and restart. We are delighted to be joining forces with the European Union again to support businesses, jointly fostering digital transformation, driving green growth and assisting companies to access much-needed funding from diverse sources.’’

Sigrid Brettel, Head of Cooperation at the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia, stated: “Small and medium-sized enterprises in Georgia have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. With this project, we help SMEs to become more crisis resilient and build back better. The project is part of the EU’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. We stand by Georgia in these difficult times and work together to build a more inclusive and greener economy.”

Business advisory services in Georgia are also supported by the Small Business Impact Fund (Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, South Korea, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Taipei China and the United States of America)

The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Georgia. Since the start of its operations in the country, the Bank has invested more than €4.2 billion in 262 projects in the financial, corporate, infrastructure and energy sectors.

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