EBRD al­lo­cates €294M to lo­cal SMEs

Azer News - - Nation - By Sara Is­rafil­bay­ova

The Euro­pean Bank for Re­con­struc­tion and De­vel­op­ment (EBRD) has al­lo­cated over €294 mil­lion since the be­gin­ning of co­op­er­a­tion to sup­port small and medium-sized en­ter­prises (SMEs) in Azer­bai­jan.

The pri­or­ity of lend­ing is to sup­port the diver­si­fi­ca­tion of the Azer­bai­jani econ­omy be­yond the en­ergy sec­tor, which is one of the main tasks of the EBRD in the coun­try, the Bank re­ported on Septem­ber 7.

Thou­sands of small busi­nesses have ac­quired new skills, im­proved gover­nance and in­vested to mod­ern­ize and ex­pand, thanks to the sup­port of the EBRD and donors such as the Euro­pean Union, Swe­den, Taipei China and the EBRD Early Tran­si­tion Coun­try’s Fund.

"The EBRD has also pro­vided €233 mil­lion in in­di­rect fi­nance, sup­port­ing an SME lend­ing port­fo­lio of banks reach­ing over 94,000 mi­cro, small and medium-sized en­ter­prises an­nu­ally,” the re­port reads.

More­over, more than 850 SMEs in Azer­bai­jan have re­ceived con­sult­ing as­sis­tance since 2003, in­clud­ing as­sis­tance to im­prove ac­count­ing, to en­ter new mar­kets, and work un­der the Women in Busi­ness pro­gram, whose goal is to pro­vide fi­nan­cial and con­sult­ing as­sis­tance to com­pa­nies run by fe­male en­trepreneurs.

EBRD Pres­i­dent Sir Suma Chakrabarti is cur­rently in Azer­bai­jan for meet­ings with the gov­ern­ment. The dis­cus­sions will fo­cus on ways to fur­ther strengthen Azer­bai­jan’s eco­nomic per­for­mance.

The EBRD is an in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion founded in 1991. As a mul­ti­lat­eral de­vel­op­men­tal in­vest­ment bank, the EBRD uses in­vest­ment as a tool to build mar­ket economies.

The Bank was es­tab­lished to sup­port coun­tries of the for­mer Eastern Bloc in the process of es­tab­lish­ing their private sec­tors. To that end, it offers "project fi­nanc­ing" for banks, in­dus­tries and busi­nesses, for new ven­tures or ex­ist­ing com­pa­nies.

The EBRD has al­lo­cated more than €3 bil­lion to Azer­bai­jan for im­ple­men­ta­tion of 160 projects since 1992.

One of the main pri­or­i­ties of the EBRD in Azer­bai­jan for 2017 is sup­port the lo­cal cor­po­rates with direct fi­nanc­ing. The EBRD con­tin­ues to pur­sue in­vest­ments in en­ergy projects, es­pe­cially where there is a gap to im­prove ef­fi­ciency and en­ergy se­cu­rity.

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