Small businesses in Moldova will soon be able to improve products and services to European Union (EU) standards, as the EBRD and EU are opening new funding opportunities to upgrade firms’ operations.
The EBRD is providing a €5 million loan to the Chisinau-based subsidiary of Banca Comercială Română, or BCR. The financing is provided within the EU4Business-EBRD credit line, which the EU is supporting with grants as part of its EU4Business initiative.
The funds will be available for investments to improve the products of Moldovan companies – both in the production process and for the quality of the end results – so as to strengthen their potential to succeed in the EU market and with EU competitors. Exporters must also meet EU standards in the areas of environmental protection, health and safety, and product quality and safety.
Angela Sax, EBRD Head in Moldova, said: “Moldovan businesses face strong competition both on the EU market but also domestically, where they need to keep pace with foreign companies. Upgrading standards and improving the quality of products and services will help them become more competitive. The EBRD is delighted to continue making funds available to help Moldovan firms raise the bar at home and abroad.”
Juan Luis Martin Ortigosa, the CEO of BCR Chisinau, commented: “Thanks to this agreement with EBRD, BCR Chisinau will offer its SME customers a tool for implementing new investment projects which will contribute to improving their competitiveness in the local and international markets.”
The Association Agreement signed between Moldova and the EU, which entered into force in July 2016, provides Moldovan producers with access to the EU’s single market. To make full use of the opportunities under the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA), local producers need to take steps to improve their competitiveness, for instance by upgrading their technology and equipment.
The EBRD is supporting these efforts with its EU4Business-EBRD credit line, which is available in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Through partner financing institutions such as BCR Chisinau, the credit line helps businesses to become more competitive and upgrade their product and service standards, thereby facilitating trade with the EU market. The EU supports this project as part of its DCFTA Facility for SMEs.
The EBRD is the largest institutional investor in Moldova. Since the start of its operations in the country, the Bank has invested close to €1.3 billion in more than 120 projects in Moldova’s financial, agribusiness, energy, infrastructure and manufacturing sectors.