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€5.1mln, 5-year EU, UN programme has benefited 100 SMEs, 1,500 entrepreneurs across Georgia

14 November 2023 19:35 (UTC+04:00)
€5.1mln, 5-year EU, UN programme has benefited 100 SMEs, 1,500 entrepreneurs across Georgia

A €5.1 million programme of the European Union and the United Nations, implemented in Georgia between 2019-2023 have “directly benefited” up to 100 small and medium-sized enterprises across the country and played a “significant role” in establishing four business clusters, the Georgian office of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations said on Tuesday, Azernews reports, citing Agenda.

The organisation said the EU Innovative Action for Private Sector Competitiveness in Georgia programme had created learning and development opportunities for over 1,500 entrepreneurs and farmers across Georgia, “strengthening their business skills and increasing their prospects in the international marketplace”.

Georgian Deputy Economy Minister Genadi Arveladze, who took part in an event summarising the programme, said his Government had created a cluster development project that presented a “broad vision” of cluster development opportunities in the country together with the organisations involved in the implementation of the programme.

The FAO said the EU and the UN had assisted four business clusters through the programme:

1. Seed and Seedlings Cluster - facilitating the National Seedling Certification System development, technical support for nurseries, farmers training and Farmers' Markets, with the cluster supported by the FAO

2. Packaging Cluster – formation of PMAG, a holder of the Bronze Label of the European Cluster Excellence Initiative and full member of the World Packaging Organisation. The cluster was supported by the UN Development Programme

3. Georgian Biopharmaceutical Cluster, which was supported by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation

4. Marine Fishing Cluster, supported by the UNIDO

Arveladze said 55 cluster areas had been analysed as part of the programme.

We have started cluster development in terms of packaging design, in the sectors of plantations, biopharmaceuticals and marine fisheries. We also provided significant support in training, manuals and grants”, he said.

The number of cluster members has increased, [and] trade balance in selected sectors has improved, which indicates positive results of the cluster approach”, the Deputy Minister added.

With financial support from the EU, the programme was implemented in partnership with the Georgian Government and the private sector, with active involvement of four UN agencies: the FAO, the UNDP, the UNIDO and the International Organisation for Migration.

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