The EIB Group launched a scheme to fund small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in countries which have signed an association agreement with the European Union.
In conjunction with the EU’s Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF), the EIB Group will provide financial and technical support to SMEs in Moldova, Ukraine, and Georgia.
The scheme was launched at the EU4Business conference in the Moldovan capital Chișinău on Tuesday, in line with the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) Initiative East.
The DCFTA allows the target countries access to selected EU market sectors and opens up the countries to EU investors. The deal came into force in Moldova and Georgia in July 2016, and forms part of the countries’ association agreements. The agreement with Ukraine is yet to be ratified by the EU and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom).
The EIB’s participation forms part of EU4 Business, an initiative by the European Commission to bring together EU-funded programmes benefiting what it calls the Eastern Partnership region.
Dario Scannapieco, EIB vice-president responsible for financing SMEs and midcaps, said: “A well-developed private sector, represented particularly by SMEs, is crucial for economic growth and the creation of new job opportunities in the Republic of Moldova for the diversification of its economy.”