A delegation of representatives from the Georgian government, microfinance institutions and agribusinesses made a visit to Cluj-Napoca and Bucharest in Romania between March 5 and March 9, 2017. The visit, organized by Business & Finance Consulting (BFC), took place within in the context of the PAFAI (Promoting Access to Finance and Agri Insurance) project, which is funded by the Swiss Cooperation Office for the South Caucasus (SCO).
For financial institutions, the purpose of the visit was to help build capacity in developing new banking products and new financing schemes as well as examine different methodologies and risk mitigation tools that allow for better credit risk assessment and decreased operational costs. For representatives of the Georgian government and Georgian agribusinesses, the visit aimed to provide a better understanding of government interventions in agriculture (particularly those utilizing European Union assistance) as well as to improve business planning and increase production efficiency and the awareness of farmers on the uses of various financial services.
During the visit, meetings were held with Romanian agriculture value chain actors, financial institutions, the Romanian Ministry of Agriculture and APIA (the Romanian agricultural payment agency). At the meetings, Georgian and Romanian counterparts discussed ways in which the Romanian model could be adapted and introduced in Georgia, particularly in terms of:
- New banking products
- New financing schemes (e.g. reverse factoring)
- Changes to risk mitigation tools
- Changes for better agricultural land evaluation and management
Georgian participants in the exposure visit included: Giorgi Chkheidze, Deputy Minister of Agriculture; Mamuka Kvaratskhelia, Deputy Director of the Agency for Agricultural Project Management (APMA); Giorgi Zakaidze, business development manager at the Association of Business Consulting Organizations; Tyler Green, PAFAI project coordinator; Revaz Chubinidze, director of Agro-Business/MSME Banking at the Bank of Georgia; representatives from the financial institutions Tera Bank, Crystal and Credo; and the agribusinesses Agroqiziki and Georgian Business Zone.
The PAFAI project began in May 2015 with financial support from the Swiss Cooperation Office for the South Caucasus. The purpose of the project is to promote the expansion of agrofinancing and agroinsurance to farmers in order to increase their profitability and income stability, thus strengthening the agricultural sector of Georgia.
BFC, a Swiss-based consulting company specialized in financial sector development, has been active in Georgia since 2003.
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