The new “’DCFTA Initiative East” and “EU Research and Innovation Programme Horizon 2020: InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators” programmes were developed jointly with the European Commission and will boost the development of the private sector in Georgia. Around 200 representatives of business, banks, microfinance institutions, financial advisors and industry associations, as well as high-level representatives of the European Union and the Georgian Government, were present at the conference to discuss support for economic growth and employment.
The Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) Initiative East aims to strengthen economic development in the countries which have signed an association agreement with the EU – namely Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine – by providing financial and technical support targeted at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the three countries, according to EU Neighbours East Info.
“InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators” consists of a series of integrated and complementary financing tools and advisory services offered by the EIB Group, covering the entire value chain of research and innovation in order to support investment.
In February 2017, the European Investment Fund and ProCredit Bank JSC (Georgia) signed the first agreement for SMEs in Georgia under InnovFin. The agreement is expected to enable ProCredit to provide EUR 50 million in loans to innovative companies over the next two years.
H.E. Janos Herman, Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia, stated: “These programmes are another proof that the European Union is committed to supporting the development of Georgian SMEs. In close cooperation with the European Investment Bank, we provide tangible support to innovative businesses that seek to take advantage of the new opportunities with the EU.”