EU to Support Free Trade Area for Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova

TBILISI – The EU and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) plan to support a program for Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova aimed at facilitating closer economic ties and maximizing the benefits of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) cooperation between the participating countries and Brussels.

The EBRD announced that it would provide EUR 380 million in loans and trade guarantees to local partner banks and other financial institutions for on-lending to businesses.

The EU will also provide EUR 19 million for technical assistance, investment incentives and risk-sharing.

The decision is the first phase of a joint EBRD and EU program to invest EUR 1.2 billion to help businesses improve their quality and service standards.

The program will also prepare them for the DCFTA and create an environment conducive to cross-border trade agreements, job creation and economic growth in the three countries.

“Small and medium-size companies are the engine of the local economy. This facility will help them take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the establishment of a free-trade area with the EU, and thus, contribute to overall economic growth in the partner countries,” said Katarina Mathernova, the European Commission’s Deputy Director-General for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations.

The establishment of a free trade area is part of the EU Association Agreement with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine signed in 2014.

By Eka Karsaulidze

Edited by Nicholas Waller

16 May 2016 17:14