Georgia: Trade Ready (Pilot)

Country: Georgia
Language: EN
Number: 1093134
Publication date: 31-03-2017
Source: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
Tags: Legal advisory services




Business sector:

Financial institutions

Project number:


Funding source:

ENIF - EU Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF)

Contract type:

Consultancy Services

Notice type:

Invitation for expressions of interest (CSU)

Issue date:

31 Mar 2017

Closing date:

20 Apr 2017 at 23:59 London

Access eSelection

Project Description

Small and medium-sized enterprises ("SMEs") are the main driver of trade, employment and economic development. Internationalisation among SMEs can bring higher rates of growth and innovation and greater resilience through diversification. While SMEs have particular qualities and strengths and may perceive opportunities to expand activities internationally, they often face barriers to their import/export activities, including limited access to trade finance. On the supply side, finance in this sector requires specific instruments and skills to manage, with potentially high operating costs; local financial institutions ("PBs") have, therefore, been reluctant to offer trade finance instruments to smaller businesses. On the demand side, SMEs often lack know-how about appropriate trade finance instruments for their businesses, as well as about processes, procedures and market relationships that are fundamental to successful international and domestic trade.

In this context, the EBRD is launching Trade Ready, an initiative aimed at expanding and strengthening small businesses’ capacity to access trade finance for their sustainable growth and job creation, and at stimulating the local banking sectors to offer tailored trade finance products and services to SMEs ("Trade Ready"). These efforts should ultimately result in better access to trade finance, and a more active role of SMEs in expanding international and intra-regional trade.

Assignment Description

The Bank now intends to engage a firm or a group of firms ("Consultant") for the implementation of Trade Ready in Georgia ("Assignment").

The expected outcomes of the Assignment are:

1. Enhancement of PBs’ ability to deliver trade finance to SMEs.

2. Promotion of know-how and enhancement of SMEs’ capability to access appropriate trade finance products and services.

3. Facilitation of better access to trade finance for SMEs through policy dialogue and cooperation with trade support institutions.

The selected Consultant is expected to provide the following services:

1.1 Technical assistance to PBs

1) Train PBs through face-to-face trainings and advisory services, namely:

a) design and deliver internal training on selling and marketing of know-how and trade finance products and services to SMEs in order to help PBs improve their understanding of SMEs involved in trade, their business and cash-flow cycles and patterns of use of trade finance products and services. The Consultant will train employees at each PB, including trainers with demonstrated capacity to implement necessary knowledge-replication functions within their PBs;

b) design and deliver SME-related trade finance capacity building

2) Help each PB organise trade finance trainings for their existing and potential SME clients;

3) Assist with the Trade Facilitation Programme (“TFP”) portfolio generation efforts including verification of the eligibility criteria, as defined in the legal documentation between the EBRD and PBs, ensuring that all applicants/sub-borrowers in the TFP transactions that comply with the EU definition of “SME” or “SME+” are included in the TFP portfolio for reporting purposes under Trade Ready. This task may include contacting PBs to verify information; and

4) Assist the EBRD in preparing the internal and external reporting on the usage of the TFP facilities by PBs to support SMEs involved in trade.

1.2 Technical assistance to SMEs and local consultants

1) Design and localise training modules targeted at SMEs and local consultants, ensuring complementarity with ASB’s existing and under development export promotion and trade-related trainings;

a) modules for SMEs to include (at least) export strategy and finance (for exporters and companies with a potential to export), introduction to international trade (for importers and local distributors), trade finance for SMEs (for exporters and importers); and

b) module for local consultants to include trade and finance consultancy know-how;

2) Deliver training modules to SMEs and local consultants, set up the calendar of events, and promote the trainings to SMEs and local consultants, in close coordination with the EBRD. The number of such trainings per year to be agreed with the EBRD;

3) Organise a series of networking events for SMEs with the trade support institutions and PBs and a series of thematic conferences;

4) Participate in and deliver thematic presentations on Trade Ready at regular market and sector development activities organised by the EBRD;

5) Develop and localise a diagnostic tool to enable SMEs assess their trade readiness across a range of dimensions, suitable for both offline and online assessments, in consultation with the EBRD and PBs. The tool should be complementary to the EBRD’s existing management diagnostic tool, Business Lens. The Consultant will be responsible for the design of the tool, including design of an appropriate questionnaire, scoring system and output, however technical development will not fall under this Assignment;

6) Provide basic offline diagnostic services to SMEs involved in trade, including through a possible monthly “surgery hour” for SMEs at the EBRD’s Resident Office in Tbilisi, supported by the EBRD; and

7) Study a possibility for a referral system between different components of Trade Ready to encourage synergies, and develop such a referral system suitable for Georgia.

1.3 Project management, marketing and outreach activities, and policy dialogue

1) Design effective and efficient project management of Trade Ready, taking into account the local legislation, banking regulation, business environment, language, trainings already available for SMEs, and the barriers for SMEs to access to trade finance;

2) Design and implement the Trade Ready Visibility Plan. The Consultant will ensure appropriate visibility of both the donors, the EBRD and the PBs. The EBRD guidance shall be requested and approvals obtained in specific cases, e.g., for activities or materials not covered in the Trade Ready Visibility Plan. The visibility activities shall include, but not limited to, creation and update of the content for a website, creation of case studies, marketing and other awareness materials, contributions to internal and external publications, at request of the EBRD. Training materials, manuals, presentations and other materials produced for the benefit of the PBs must be produced in line with the EBRD brand and visibility guidelines and contain proper visibility references, as well as appropriate disclaimers. The Consultant must timely seek guidance from the EBRD on appropriate visibility and disclaimer requirements;

3) Organise the Trade Ready series of awareness seminars across the country in cooperation with PBs and the EBRD (locations to be selected in cooperation with the EBRD);

4) Facilitate policy dialogue activities and coordinate communication and joint activities with the trade support institutions, at request of the EBRD. The Consultant is required to identify the needs for policy dialogue activities, necessary for creating an appropriate environment that fosters improvements in access to trade finance, and inform the EBRD. The Consultant may be also required to assist with such policy dialogue activities with the involvement of various relevant stakeholders as advised by EBRD;

5) Monitor and update the “overlap” based on the information received from the EBRD throughout the Assignment. The EBRD will conduct an initial baseline assessment on the country level based on the data available through the TFP and ASB for Georgia by deriving the number of SMEs that received both know-how and trade finance (the “overlap”) through the EBRD. The Consultant shall monitor and promote synergies between the different components of Trade Ready, with the aim to see a yearly increase in the “overlap”;

6) Gather and analyse SME- and trade-related information and statistics in Georgia as part of the EBRD’s internal and external reporting cycles, identifying specific obstacles that SMEs find to access trade finance (including knowledge gaps), compared to other banking products, both at the market level and at the PB level, and identify specific obstacles that SMEs find in accessing export markets; and

7) Engage in close cooperation and coordination with the Consultants for Trade Ready in other countries.

Status of Selection Process: Interested firms or groups of firms are hereby invited to submit their expressions of interest.

Assignment Start Date and Duration: The Assignment is expected to start in June 2017 and has an estimated overall duration of 36 months.

Cost Estimate for the Assignment: EUR 289,000.00 (exclusive of VAT). It is envisaged that an initial contract of 12 months will be awarded for up to EUR 100,000.00 with a possibility of extension by up to EUR 189,000.00 for a further 24 months (with contract extensions administered on the annual basis), subject to availability of funding, the performance of the selected Consultant and the specific needs of the Bank.

The Consultant must determine whether any VAT would be chargeable on the services and the basis for that determination, without taking into consideration the special status of the Bank as an IFI and state this to the Bank in their response to the Invitation for Expressions of Interest. To the extent that a Consultant incurs input VAT on goods and services purchased in connection with the provision of services (e.g. VAT on airline ticket) which is not otherwise recoverable by the consultant from the local tax authority, the gross cost to the consultant of such expenses shall be treated as a reimbursable expense.

Funding Source: It is expected that the Assignment will be funded by the EU NIF through the "EU Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) Facility, EBRD DCFTA Programme" Please note the selection and contracting will be subject to the availability of funding.

Eligibility: There are no eligibility restrictions.

Consultant Profile: Corporate services are required. The Consultant will be a firm or a group of firms preferably with previous project experience related to:

1. Facilitating SME growth by connecting trade finance and advisory activities while building capacity of local banks and trade support institutions.

2. Implementing similar assignments in Georgia (or in Caucasus), or in locations with comparable business environment.

The Consultant’s expert team is expected to include key experts as follows:

1. Key Expert 1 (Project Manager) with preferably 15 years or more of previous professional experience in SME finance, trade finance, marketing of financial products, capacity building and policy dialogue, and a proven track record of project management in the EBRD’s countries of operations.

2. Key Experts 2 (Senior SME Finance and Trade Finance Experts) with preferably 12 years or more of previous professional experience in SME finance and/or trade finance. A minimum of one Senior Expert for each of the SME finance and trade finance shall be included in this key expert category.

3. Key Experts 3 (Communications and Marketing Experts) with preferably 10 years or more of previous professional experience in SME finance and marketing of financial products, as well as being fluent in Georgian and English.

4. Key Experts 4 (Local Experts) with preferably 10 years or more of previous professional experience in Georgia as SME finance and capacity building specialist, as well as being fluent in Georgian and English. Experience in trade finance will be desirable.

Submission Requirements: In order to determine the capability and experience of Consultants seeking to be shortlisted for this Assignment, the information submitted should include the following:

1. Firm or group of firms’ profile, organisation and staffing (max. 2-4 pages).

2. Details of previous project experience or similar assignments particularly undertaken in the previous five years, including information on contract value, contracting entity/client, project location/country, duration (mm/yy to mm/yy), expert months provided (if different from duration) , main activities, objectives.

3. CVs of key experts who could carry out the Assignment detailing qualifications, experience in similar assignments, particularly assignments undertaken in the previous five years, including information on contracting entity/client, project location/country, duration (mm/yy to mm/yy), expert months provided, assignment budget, main activities, objectives.

4. Completed Consultant Declaration Form and Contact Sheet, the template for which is available from the following web-link:

The above information should not exceed 25 pages excluding CVs and Contact Sheet.

The complete expression of interest (including CVs, Consultant Declaration Form and Contact Sheet) should be submitted, in English electronically through e-Selection, to reach the Bank not later than the closing date. The expression of interest shall be one file (pdf). The EBRD reserves the right to reject applications of firms submitting more than one file. Only if the permissible file size is exceeded (4MB), the Consultant may split the expression of interest into further files.

Bank Contact Person:

Maria Haugh

Technical Cooperation

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

One Exchange Square

London EC2A 2JN

Tel: +44 20 7338 7185

E-mail: (submissions should be sent through eSelection and NOT to this email address)


1. Following this invitation for expressions of interest, a shortlist of qualified firms will be formally invited to submit proposals. Consultant selection and contracting will be subject to availability of funding.

2. The shortlist criteria are:

a) Firm’s previous project experience in facilitating SME growth by connecting trade finance and advisory activities while building capacity of local banks and trade support institutions – 25%

(b) Firm’s previous project experience in implementing similar assignments in Georgia (or in Caucasus), or in locations with comparable business environment – 35%

(c) CVs of Key Experts proposed in line with the procurement notice – 40%