WASHINGTON, D.C., September 28, 2000
– The Executive Vice President of the International Finance Corporation,
Peter Woicke, will visit the Central Asian Republics of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan,
Kyrgyz Republic, and Tajikistan, where IFC has put high priority on investments
in the financial sector and banks, especially those that serve small and
medium businesses. Beyond its investments, IFC is also providing pre-investment
assistance to develop the agribusiness and tourism industries that are
key to economic development in the region.
His first stop will be Uzbekistan, where IFC has recently approved financing
to Osiyo Granite,
a locally owned marble and granite company; and additional equity financing
for Uzbek Leasing, a Tashkent based company that provides long-term financial
leases for plant and machinery, office equipment, and transportation vehicles
to enterprises with export potential. Mr. Woicke will meet with banking
officials at Parvina Bank and Hamkor Bank, where IFC has approved credit
lines to enable the banks to provide long-term financing for the fledgling
small business community in the Samarkand and Andijan
regions. In an effort to address the
general shortage of international financing in Uzbekistan, IFC had already
million in credit lines to the National Bank of Uzbekistan, Asaka Bank
and ABN AMRO Bank Uzbekistan to on-lend to small and medium sized businesses.
While in the country, he will meet Uzbek government officials, entrepreneurs,
In Kazakhstan, IFC is helping to modernize and develop the financial sector
with medium and long-term investments such as credit lines to both local
and foreign joint-venture banks. Mr. Woicke will meet with banking officials
from TuranAlem and Kazkommertsbank, the two largest private banks in Kazakhstan,
in which IFC invested in order to strengthen their funding base, improve
their liquidity position and allow them to lend to small and medium companies.
IFC is working with donors to establish the Central Asia Business Support
Service to provide wide-ranging technical assistance to SMEs.
In the Kyrgyz Republic, IFC, in conjunction with the Aga Khan Fund for
Economic Development and three other investors, is helping to establish
Kyrgyz Investment & Commercial Bank to meet the widespread demand of
private businesses for financing. The investment will enable the bank to
stimulate competition with other banks by lending to private companies,
including small and medium enterprises. IFC is advising on creating sustainable
microfinance facilities, which build upon the structure of existing projects.
Through such investments and technical assistance in the Kyrgyz Republic,
IFC is helping to remove the impediments to small business development.
In Tajikistan, IFC's investment in Holland Supermarket was designed to
provide major benefits to consumers through lower prices, one-stop shopping,
increased variety of goods, and better quality products. IFC has also invested
in Tamo Marble to expand its marble-manufacturing unit and develop a granite
quarry in the northern Tajik city of Chakalovsk, where the project is expected
to generate additional employment. IFC is currently processing investments
in competitive agro-processing companies such as cotton ginning and related
activities, and is working to establish a small farmers' supply and marketing
company, as well as an advisory services company in Dushanbe.
Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Tajikistan are all countries
where IFC has put special emphasis on countries and regions where difficult
conditions have hampered private investment. As part of this effort, IFC
is increasing local presence in each country to develop knowledge about
local conditions and building relationships with the business community
and governmental authorities in an effort to generate new business.
The mission of IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is to promote private
sector investment in developing countries, which will reduce poverty and
improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the
developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets,
and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.