On 6th December members of European-Ukrainian Energy Agency took part at the Eastern Partnership Business Forum 2018, which focused on ‘Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’ as well as ‘IT and Digital Markets’. It aimed to bring together entrepreneurs from EU member states and Eastern partner countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) with both each other and politicians in order to explore the potential of the partner countries in these sectors and, via B2B meetings, to undertake steps to realise this potential.
This conference took place on the occasion at Austrian’s EU Presidency 2018 by the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber in partnership with the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs as well as the Austrian Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs and was co-sponsored by go-international. EUEA is thankful for invitation and opportunity to participate!
Commissioner Johannes Hahn also took at the event, where he shared EU policy overview concerning Eastern Partnership and energy sector as well. He mentioned, that one of the most important objectives of European Neighbourhood policy and the Eastern Partnership is to foster economic development and further integration of these economies for the benefit of all. Mr. Hahn said:
“Under EU4Business initiative, we cover all your needs, from business environment, to business support organization, advisory services and access to finance. For example, since 2016, 70.000 SMEs in the region have benefited from EUR 2 billion in loans, half of them in local currency. 70.000 entrepreneur were able to transform ideas into reality and to grow and develop new activities. 14.000 additional jobs have been created.
Since the introduction of Deep Comprehensive Free Trade Area, in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, we have already witnessed an important increase in trade, but only the full implementation and enforcement of reforms will lead to expected trade growth.
In addition, the External Investment Plan we designed last year, will help unlock the investment potential in our partner countries. With its innovative guarantee scheme, we expect the Plan to crowd in private investments that would otherwise not materialise.
In the European Union, Energy Efficiency is considered as a source of energy, in fact the cheapest source of energy. There is no cheaper energy than the energy not consumed. In the European Union, energy efficiency transformation has created more than 1 million jobs in the past years.
The Eastern Partnership region is much more energy intensive. While this is a major challenge, it is also an opportunity for the business community to tap into this vast potential of energy saving and optimization.
The EU can help you avail of these opportunities. That is why we support several programmes including: grant incentives coupled with loans in local banks; small business advice and energy audits; and the introduction of EU standards in building, industry, ecodesign and energy labelling.
The EU has a strong track record in financing energy efficiency in Eastern Partnership countries.
We have provided 170 million euro through 13 programmes. At the last Eastern Partnership Summit, we have committed to provide a further 220 million euro for energy efficiency until 2022.
Over 20,000 SMEs have benefited from EU support to invest in Energy Efficiency processes, machinery and equipment.
The European Union has also been investing substantially in the sector of Energy Efficiency for residential buildings. I am proud to say that today around 12 000 families have benefited from such programmes. All our pilot programmes have demonstrated that investments to improve energy efficiency of old buildings led to a positive return within 5 to 7 years.
Our responsibilities toward future generation, the unavoidable energy transition, and the decreasing cost of green technologies, create new business opportunities in the region.”