The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) responded to the Covid-19 pandemic in Armenia in 2020 with record investment of €167 million for projects in energy, banking and transport and through trade finance support. The Bank helped to address the immediate and longer-term needs of the country’s economy.
Dimitri Gvindadze, EBRD Head of the Yerevan Resident Office, said: “The EBRD team worked to help our clients deal with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Our support included the provision of liquidity and trade finance. We invested in energy and transport infrastructure. Our support to the banking sector fostered companies’ access to finance. In 2021, supporting the recovery is our priority. We work closely with the European Union (EU) in Armenia and we thank our EU partners for this strategically important cooperation in the context of both public- and private-sector projects.”
The EBRD stepped up its investment to address immediate needs and to create the foundations for recovery, with a focus on building back better economies in the future. The Bank continued to concentrate its support on the private sector, which accounted for more than 90 per cent of total EBRD investment in Armenia in 2020.
In a pioneering project, the EBRD financed the first utility-scale 55 MW solar power plant in Armenia and in the Caucasus. The project will help boost Armenia’s supply of clean energy and reduce its reliance on imported fuels.
Keeping vital trade flows going, the EBRD supported a new record of close to €70 million in trade finance transactions in Armenia, involving eight local partner banks, under its Trade Facilitation Programme.
The EBRD further increased its support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with the provision of loans to commercial banks for on-lending to businesses. These loans included Women in Business credit lines.
In the infrastructure sector, the Bank funded the reconstruction and modernisation of the border-crossing point near the town of Meghri to meet modern safety and security requirements. The project received significant grant support from the European Union.
In addition, the EBRD supported Electric Networks of Armenia, which continues to modernize its electricity distribution network.