Roundtable on Financing RECP Investments in Small and Medium Sized Enterprises in Georgia and the EaP countries

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Notwithstanding  the  well  documented  cost  savings  of RECP

measures,  manufacturing  companies,  in particular  small  and  medium  sized  enterprises,   often  report  difficulties  in  mobilizing  finance  for identified  investments.   This  has  been  due  to  many  factors.  For  example,  for  many  SMEs  credit conditions deteriorated  in the aftermath of the global crisis, exacerbating  the effects of long-standing challenges,  such  as  information  asymmetries,  lack  of  collateral  and  a  higher  credit  risk  for  SMEs compared to large firms.

As part of the EU-funded project Greening Economies in the European Union’s Eastern Neighborhood (EaP  GREEN)  efforts  have  been  made  to  explore  possible  ways  to  bridge  the  gap  between  RECP assessments and RECP investments and leverage funding for the transition towards a green economy. With support from the Development  Bank of Austria a first EaP GREEN national  roundtable  on RECP financing   in   Georgia   was   organized   on   24th   March   2015   in   Tbilisi.   Representatives   from financial institutions,   business  and  government   sectors  who  participated   in  the  Roundtable  discussed  the business potential of RECP investments and identified practical ways forward for mobilizing financing for RECP investments in the country.

Following  the  workshop  a  number  of  follow-up  activities  were  conducted  in  2016-2017  with  the

objective of enhancing the RECP financing in Georgia, including:

–      A  study  by  a  local  expert  exploring  existing  funding  mechanisms  in  the  country  which  could  be

potentially applied for financing RECP projects in SMEs;

–      An  in-depth  techno-economic  and  environmental  assessments  of  RECP  options  and  pilot  RECP

project proposals for 7 companies including financial analysis of the proposed investments;

–      Consultations with the companies and local banks to finance and implement the proposed RECP

pilot projects;

–      A survey of SMEs participating in the RECP demonstration project to learn about the companies’

attitudes towards financing RECP activities.

Purpose of the workshop

 A second Roundtable on RECP Financing in Georgian SMEs, that will be organized on 26 April, 2017 in Tbilisi, aims to address possible ways to bridge the gap between companies and financial institutions for financing  and  implementing  RECP  activities  including  adaptation  and  adoption  of  innovative  RECP technologies.

In the first part of the workshop, representatives  of the UNIDO-led EaP GREEN Demonstration  Project will demonstrate  the economic  benefits  and financial  returns  of the RECP pilot projects,  discuss  the opportunities for and barriers to financing RECP projects in Georgia, and identify ways to enhance RECP financing in Georgian SMEs.

The second part of the workshop will allow sharing experience and knowledge among the EU Eastern Neighborhood  Countries  about  the  barriers  and  opportunities  for  enhancing  the  financing  of  RECP (green) investments in the region.

The   audience   of   the   workshop   will   include   representatives   of   the   demonstration   companies participating  in the UNIDO project, international  and local financial institutions,  representatives  of the ministries of economy and environment,  project Steering Committee members, business associations, NGOs  and  academia.    National  Coordinators  of  the  UNIDO  RECP  Demonstration  Project  and  RECP experts  from 6 beneficiary  countries,  national RECP experts  from Georgia,  representatives  of UNIDO, and international donor organizations will participate in the workshop.

Key issues:

–      What are the barriers for SME to apply for eco/green loans?

–      Which  international  and  national  financial  institutions,  including  commercial  banks,  provide

financing for RECP/green activities including energy efficiency projects;

–      What type of projects are financed by the financial institutions;

–      What  are  the  loan  conditions  (interest  rate,  loan  repayment  period,  collaterals,  subsidies  by

international financial institutions)  offered  to SMEs for green investments;

–      What  are  the  risks  for  companies  to  borrow  money  for  green  activities  and  for  commercial

banks to provide funds?

–      Which alternatives to bank lending are available to SMEs for green investments?

–      What  needs  to  be  done  to  bridge  the  gap  between  SMEs  and  finance  providers  to  up-scale  the financing of RECP investments?

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