Tag Archives: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

On 19 September the European Commission’s Deputy Director-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, Katarína Mathernová  visited Armenia on a two-day working visit, during which Eastern Partnership (EaP) Post-2020 Consultations took place in Yerevan. The Deputy Director-General Mathernová, the EU Ambassador to Armenia Andrea Wiktorin, and the RA Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Avet Adonts delivered speeches encouraging all the participants to actively contribute to the discussions and feel ownership for the EaP’s future beyond 2020, ensuring that the EaP remains relevant and inclusive. The event was attended by representatives from the RA National Assembly and Government, EU Member State Embassies, Civil Society, private sector organisations, think tanks, academia, media, youth, and other stakeholders.

Later, the Deputy Director-General Mathernová and Ambassador Wiktorin held a meeting with the RA Deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigoryan and the RA Minister of Foreign Affairs Zohrab Mnatsakanyan.  The Deputy Director-General expressed the EU’s readiness to step up the support for the implementation of the reform agenda in Armenia; this would include cooperation with Government and building on joint CEPA commitments.

On 20 September the launch event of the EU External Investment Plan (EIP) took place in Yerevan during which the Deputy Director-General Mathernová, the EU Ambassador Andrea Wiktorin and the RA Deputy Minister of Economy Varos Simonyan delivered opening remarks. The financial instruments and main components of EIP were presented, alongside the policy objectives of investment opportunities in Armenia and ways to enhance the business environment to unlock investment. The Deputy Director-General Mathernová and Ambassador Wiktorin then met with representatives of International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and with Armenian Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan. In the evening, the Deputy Director-General Mathernová held a press briefing and launched a private equity fund for Armenia. This fund was established with the support of the EU and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). €16 million was provided for the launch of the Amber Capital EU-Armenia SME Fund. This fund seeks to raise a total of €70 million for investment in small- and medium-sized enterprises in Armenia.

The Deputy Director-General Mathernová highlighted the importance of this newly launched fund: “The EU is a key partner for economic development and prosperity in Armenia. The EU is proud to be adding this new innovative tool to unleash the potential for SME development in Armenia, creating jobs and providing concrete benefits to the people. We are confident that the EU-Armenia SME Equity Fund will support the growth and competitiveness of the Armenian economy, attract foreign direct investment, and help develop innovations based on the talents of Armenians”.

Deputy Prime Minister Avninyan expressed confidence that the fund would contribute to the development of Armenia’s economy significantly: “The Armenian Government has started building an innovative and inclusive economy, where SMEs will play an important role. In this period of fundamental changes, the newly established EU-Armenia SME Equity Fund will contribute significantly to the economic advancement of the country and will create new opportunities for entrepreneurs”.

The Deputy Director-General Mathernova’s two-day working visit concluded with the meeting with the RA Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan alongside Ambassador Wiktorin. During the meeting, they discussed EU-Armenia relations and the EU’s commitment to support the reform agenda. Mathernová highlighted, that even with the change of leadership in EU agencies, the commitment to support Armenia will not change.

1 December marked the end of a two-day working visit to Armenia made by the European Investment Bank‘s (EIB) Vice President, Vazil Hudak. Two new agreements with Armenian counterparts were signed.
In the morning, the Vice President met with the Mayor of Yerevan, Taron Margaryan, to discuss joint programmes and sign a loan agreement on energy efficiency. Thanks to the EIB funding, Yerevan will become greener and more energy efficient. An EIB loan worth €7 million will help the Yerevan Municipality to increase energy efficiency in kindergartens, lowering energy and maintenance costs as well as allowing for the reduction of CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environmental Partnership (E5P) fund has allocated €5 million grant and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) has granted €1 million to allow Yerevan to fulfil its promises and obligations towards energy efficiency.

^647CEFD4377B4D9331DCBB0CFDAD7CC99DE7A6554068870F80^pimgpsh_fullsize_distrLater, Vazik Hudak met with the Armenia’s Minister of Finance Vardan Aramyan, to discuss ways to enhance collaboration. They also signed a grant agreement to allow E5P to release €2 million for the Yerevan Solid Waste Project. Since 2015, the project has aimed to improve solid waste management in Yerevan through three components. The first component is the construction of a new sanitary landfill and auxiliary infrastructure. The new landfill, to be located near Nubarashen landfill (12 km away from the centre of Yerevan), will reduce negative impact of the existing non-sanitary landfill on the environment, public health and climate. The second component of the project covers the closure and rehabilitation of the existing landfill after the new landfill is put into operation. The third component will prepare and introduce systems and facilities that will increase recycling volumes by extending the life of the new landfill. The grant funds under this new agreement are envisaged to finance the second component of the project.
Funding allocation is as follows: €8m loan from the EIB; €8m loan and €1.9m technical assistance grant from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD); €8m grant from the European Union through the Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF); €0.5m grant from the Municipal Project Support Facility and €2m grant from the E5P.

^3A56217401DA0C3FC2180C50B83C742821401547B6267EE903^pimgpsh_fullsize_distrThe Vice President expressed his happiness over the opportunity to sign these agreements: ‘First of all let me speak about the loan agreement on energy efficiency. This is the first agreement between an international financial institution and the Municipality. So it is a historic moment, because, until now, only the Government or State was working with international financial institutions, like the EIB. Now, however, municipalities like Yerevan can work with us directly. This support will help energy efficiency in Yerevan over 3 years, and energy efficiency in kindergartens in the city will increase. As for the Yerevan Solid Waste Project, it involves both grants and loans. We are sure this project will be good for the city. The old landfill will be replaced by a new one; this means that people in Yerevan will have a brand new site which meets the highest-quality health standards. It will also aid waste-diversion measures in the surrounding regions’.