The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) continues to expand the support for Romania’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), a key sector of the economy. The programme will focus on improving the competitiveness of domestic SMEs by providing access to the know-how of local consultants and international advisers on a cost-sharing basis.
The Memorandum of Understanding signed in Bucharest on Wednesday provides a framework for future cooperation between the EBRD and the government of Romania to implement a five-year programme of support for SMEs. The document was signed at Romania’s annual SME Forum by Andrei Gerea, Minister for Energy, Small and Medium Enterprises and the Business Environment, and James Hyslop, EBRD Director for Romania.
As part of the programme, the EBRD will also continue to develop the local consultancy market in Romania, offering consultants professional development and training opportunities to enhance their skills.
To date, EBRD advisory activities have supported more than 550 SMEs in Romania. Almost 74 percent of these firms have seen increases in turnover within one year, while 57 percent have increased their productivity. About 3,000 jobs have been created as more than half of the enterprises have increased their number of employees.
The Bank’s Small Business Support programme in Romania is currently funded by Austria as a core donor as well as Korea, the TaiwanBusiness-EBRD Technical Cooperation Fund and the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund.
The EBRD is the leading institutional investor in Romania. In 2014 alone, the Bank invested EUR 600 million in the country. To date, the EBRD has invested over EUR 7 billion across 370 projects in Romania. It has also mobilised more than EUR 14 billion for these ventures from other sources of financing.