Kosovo, Pristina, April 24, 2017 - IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is providing a €2 million loan to microfinance
institution Kreditimi Rural i Kosoves, LLC (KRK), to increase lending to
farmers, rural entrepreneurs, and other smaller businesses in Kosovo, fostering
growth and job creation.
This is the second loan IFC is extending
to KRK, with the first one of €1.5 million completed in 2015. Medium to
long-term funding remains scarce in Kosovo but is critical for the development
of the country’s private sector. That is especially evident in the agricultural
sector, as farmers and smaller agribusinesses often face challenges when
trying to secure funds from traditional commercial banks.
“IFC is supporting us to increase lending
in rural areas and helping the development of agriculture in Kosovo,”
said Lulzim Sadrija, CEO of KRK. “The majority of our portfolio consists
of loans granted to individuals to finance their micro and small businesses,
such as farming or animal breeding.”
Agriculture accounts for an estimated 14
percent of Kosovo’s GDP and employs around 20 percent of the population.
As KRK’s loan portfolio focuses on Kosovo’s primary agriculture and agro-processing
– with around 50 percent of loans and 60 percent of customers – the new
IFC loan will encourage further growth in Kosovo’s agribusiness sector.
"By extending this second loan to KRK,
we are not only supporting local agricultural producers but also showing
our confidence in KRK and Kosovo’s microfinance sector, in general,”
said Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Manager for the Western Balkans. “Microfinance
institutions like KRK are essential for rural development and employment.”
Kosovo became a member and shareholder of
IFC in 2009. Since then, IFC's long-term finance investment in Kosovo totals
$391.4 million, including funds mobilized from our partners, in five projects
across a range of sectors. In addition, IFC has supported trade flows of
$4.8 million through its trade finance program. Our committed investment
portfolio in Kosovo as of 30 June 2016 is $9.1 million. In fiscal year
2016, IFC invested $2 million in Kosovo.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working
with 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our six decades of experience to
create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY16, our long-term investments
in developing countries rose to nearly $19 billion, leveraging our capital,
expertise and influence to help the private sector end extreme poverty
and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org
For more information about KRK, visit: