EBRD and EU increase support for small businesses in Moldova

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a €15 million loan to ProCredit Bank to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Moldova (https://www.ebrd.com/moldova.html). The new financing, supported by European Union

(https://www.ebrd.com/who-we-are/structure-and-management/shareholders/european-union.html) (EU) funds, will help companies to become more competitive and seize new export opportunities.

The financial package will allow businesses to invest in the modernisation of their equipment and production processes to EU standards in product quality, health and safety measures and environmental preservation. The support comes at a crucial time, with the coronavirus pandemic (https://www.ebrd.com/what-we- do/coronavirus-solidarity) having a severe impact on local businesses and limited access to finance available.

The support is part of the EU4Business-EBRD credit line (https://www.eu4business-ebrdcreditline.com/), for which the EBRD provides finance to MSMEs through partner financial institutions, while the EU makes additional funds available to identify, verify and promote the most suitable equipment as well as incentive payments to MSMEs following the successful completion of upgrades.

Ensuring high product standards allows companies to become more export-oriented and trade their goods widely, while also making them more competitive on the local market. At the same time, consumers across the country benefit from such improvements when purchasing these products.

Angela Sax, EBRD Head of Moldova, said: “It is one of our priorities in the country to support businesses with much-needed finance and in their ambition to export their products. This is more important than ever following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic (https://www.ebrd.com/what-we-do/coronavirus- solidarity) on businesses. Together with our partners we work to provide new opportunities to small businesses and to build a sustainable, green and well-integrated economy in Moldova.”

Peter Michalko, EU Ambassador to Moldova, commented: “With this new EU4Business-EBRD credit line, the European Union aims to improve access to finance for Moldovan MSMEs, as well as to tackle the challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic. We hope that this assistance for entrepreneurs will bring tangible benefits and improve the life of all Moldovan citizens. Under the Team Europe approach, EU institutions, EU Member States and financial institutions have mobilised considerable resources to provide the necessary healthcare equipment, improve access to finance for SMEs and support the digitalisation and greening of the economy. Team Europe support is also provided for key areas such as local development, good governance, human rights, rule of law and non-discrimination.”

Olga Bulat, ProCredit Bank Management Board Chairperson, says: “Our clients’ trust has motivated ProCredit Bank to diversify, improve and create new competitive services as well as to utilise the latest technologies in customer service, promote environmentally friendly measures and implement European standards in the Moldovan banking market for more than 14 years. The new funding will assist businesses that focus on modern technology and will offer the possibility of benefiting from favourable financial terms and free technical assistance. We are happy to be able to support our customers and maintain and develop our long-term partnerships, especially in these difficult times.”

The EBRD is one of the largest institutional investors in Moldova. To date, it has invested around €1.42 billion in more than 140 projects in the country to support private businesses and key infrastructure and to build a greener and more sustainable economy.

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