Baku, Azerbaijan, February 4, 2016—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is launching the third phase of an advisory
project to help strengthen Azerbaijan’s financial infrastructure and improve
access to finance for businesses, especially small enterprises, assisting
them to remain stable amid the recent local currency devaluation, and continue
to grow and create jobs.
The Azerbaijan-Central Asia Financial Markets
Infrastructure Project III, implemented by the World Bank Group, is funded
by Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). Over the
next three years, the project will help create a private credit bureau
in Azerbaijan, with an efficient credit information sharing system to reduce
default rates and expand lending. Given the growing demand caused by labor
migration, the project will also help improve credit information flow across
other emerging economies in the region.
In addition, the project will continue to
promote movable asset-based lending in Azerbaijan to allow smaller businesses
to use assets like machinery, crops, and receivables as collateral for
loans from financial institutions.
“Access to finance is one of the foundations
of private sector growth. Recent developments highlight the importance
of continuing reforms to help reduce risks and strengthen the financial
sector, alongside broader business environment reforms,” said Aliya Azimova,
IFC Country Representative in Azerbaijan. “We aim to help create an efficient
credit information sharing system and leverage the value of movable assets
to open up new opportunities for private sector growth in Azerbaijan.”
Preparation for creating the private credit
bureau was undertaken alongside Azerbaijan’s leading financial institutions
during the project’s previous two phases in 2009-2015. The project’s
team also worked with Azerbaijan’s government on legislation to reform
the credit information sharing system and enable movable asset-based lending.
Both legislative packages are currently being reviewed by government bodies,
before being submitted for approval by Parliament.
Azerbaijan became a member of IFC in 1995.
Since then, IFC has invested more than $390 million in 55 long-term projects
across a range of sectors, including financial services, infrastructure,
and manufacturing sectors, and mobilized nearly $73 million from other
lenders. IFC also supports cross-border trade in Azerbaijan with an average
outstanding balance of $3.2 million in trade finance in FY15. In addition,
IFC has implemented a range of advisory projects aimed at encouraging private
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is
the largest global development institution focused on the private sector
in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide,
we use our capital, expertise, and influence, to create opportunity where
it’s needed most. In FY15, our long-term investments in developing countries
rose to nearly $18 billion, helping the private sector play an essential
role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
For more information about SECO, please