EU Bank launches long-term financing scheme to support agri-food sector in Ukraine
At the end of November in Kyiv, NIRAS staff joined high-level representatives of the Ukrainian Government, the EU, the European Investment Bank (EIB), at an interactive seminar to announce private and public sector investment opportunities offered through the €400 million Ukraine Agri-Food APEX Loan. Business leaders, financial intermediaries and advisors, academia and industry associations were also in attendance.
Bolstered by donor-backed technical assistance, the €400 million EIB financing scheme aims to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-caps operating in Ukraine’s cereals, oilseeds, and aquaculture/fisheries value chains - key drivers of economic growth in the country.
With the support of the EU as well as the Eastern Partnership Technical Assistance Trust Fund (EPTATF) and its donors, the programme is intended to help Ukraine benefit from the opportunities offered by the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) established under its EU Association Agreement.
The programme launched today will support the agri-food sector, which has enormous growth potential, given its long tradition and competitive advantages. With the support of the European Union as well as the United Kingdom through the Eastern Partnership Technical Assistance Trust Fund (EPTATF), the EIB is stepping up its efforts to improve access to finance and build capacity in order to support sustainable and inclusive growth in Ukraine.
Marion Hoenicke, Head of Division, EIB Neighbouring Countries Department
To support productive investments by SMEs and mid-caps as well as public service providers, the EIB funds will be available to a variety of players contributing to the effective functioning of the target value chains, namely, input suppliers, farmers, processors, and storage and logistics operators, as well as testing laboratories, research and education institutions and extension services.
The loans to private and public sector final beneficiaries must be processed through local financial intermediaries. To build their capacity and ensure timely, appropriate, and efficient distribution and use of loan funds, the EU and the UK made a €5.5 million grant available for technical assistance.
NIRAS and its consortium partners – AESA, TA Consult, and Unicon – are providing training and consultancy services to participating financial intermediaries and also advising final beneficiaries on investment planning and credit applications. To learn more about the project, click here.