European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, visits Georgia on January 15-16.
“The main objective of the visit is to support the implementation of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement and to discuss the Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga [in May] as well as the forthcoming review of the European Neighbourhood Policy,” Commissioner’s office said in a press release.
He will meet President Giorgi Margvelashvili; PM Irakli Garibashvili; Foreign Minister Tamar Beruchashvili; parliament speaker Davit Usupashvili, as well as parliamentary minority group members and civil society and EU-Georgia Business Council representatives.
The Commissioner and the Georgian PM will sign a financing agreement for a new programme to help Georgia implement the deep and comprehensive free trade agreement (DCFTA) and promote private sector development.
During the visit the EU Commissioner is expected to announce about a joint program of the EU and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova to get loans to upgrade their production facilities and seize new opportunities created by the deep and comprehensive free trade with the EU.
The programme envisages EU grant of EUR 10 million to be used to guarantee at least EUR 69 million of EBRD financing for the SMEs in Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine, targeting individual investments between EUR 0.5 million and EUR 10 million.
During the visit Commissioner Hahn will also deliver a key-note speech at the Ilia State University in Tbilisi.