Subscribe to download Archive

EBRD, EU, GCF expand funding for SMEs, green lending in Armenia

Armenia will receive expanded funding from the EBRD, EU and GCF as part of a new green funding initiative, it was reported on June 30.

Following the EBRD’s pledge of $6 million to Armenia in April, another $10 million will become available in the near future.

Armenia’s private sector will benefit from new resources for green financing thanks to a $10 million financial package put together by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in cooperation with the European Union (EU) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to facilitate the private sector’s transition to more sustainable, low-carbon and climate-resilient practices, EBRD said in a press release.

It said the package is being provided to ACBA Bank under the EBRD’s Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF) programme and the EU4Business-EBRD credit line with incentives for on-lending to local enterprises for investments in climate-change mitigation and adaptation as well as for upgrading technologies and services to EU standards while promoting the use of green technologies. This is the first project to be signed in Armenia under the EU4Business-EBRD Credit Line, paving the way for more banking clients to join this new framework.

The EU4Business-EBRD credit line helps local companies increase their standards, upgrade production, improve the working conditions of their employees and boost competitiveness on local and international markets. At least 70% of any loan will finance investments in green technologies. Borrowers are eligible to receive incentive grants and technical advice, both funded by the European Union under its EU4Business initiative.

The EBRD’s GEFF programme supports businesses and homeowners wishing to invest in green technologies. Eligible projects include investments in technologies such as thermal insulation, photovoltaic solar panels, geothermal heat pumps and water-efficient irrigation systems. GEFF also includes a comprehensive package of technical advice, which helps to identify and verify green investment opportunities. Businesses can find green technologies commonly available in Armenia using the GEFF Technology Selector.

The GCF will support the project with capacity-building and implementation while also providing incentive grants for eligible green projects.

Dimitri Gvindadze, EBRD head of Armenia, said: “Encouraging and supporting the upgrading of technology in the private sector will improve its competitiveness and potentially further enhance export opportunities. ACBA Bank is one of our longstanding clients, with strong business outreach in the country. We are committed to helping companies improve their standards to perform successfully for the benefit of Armenia’s economy.”

Ambassador Andrea Wiktorin, head of the delegation of the European Union to Armenia, said: “The EU4Business-funded facility will support Armenian SMEs in delivering high added-value and boost their competitiveness and productivity, in line with the standards of the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement. The EU is committed to supporting the greening of Armenia’s private sector and its integration into European value chains."

ACBA Bank is among the leading banks in Armenia, offering a full range of services to individuals and SMEs. It is the fourth-largest bank in Armenia in terms of assets, with a dominant position in lending to the agricultural sector and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in rural areas.

The GEFF programme is helping to build a green economy in Armenia by supporting the expansion of green finance in accordance with the EBRD’s Green Economy Transition approach.

The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Armenia. The bank has invested more than €1.51 billion in 189 projects in the country’s financial, corporate, infrastructure and energy sectors, with 88 per cent of those investments in the private sector.