Pristina, Kosovo, December 7, 2016—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, and the Agency for Finance (AFK), a microfinance
institution, are working together to spur lending to farmers in Kosovo,
part of an effort to support the development of the country's agriculture
IFC will advise AFK as it develops strategies
and lending tools that will allow it to extend financing to more agricultural
firms. IFC will also support AFK as it rolls out training sessions to help
farmers better understand financial instruments and better present their
business plans to creditors. Those efforts are considered key in Kosovo,
where farmers are a key part of the economy but often struggled to access
the financing they need to expand their businesses.
“By using IFC’s experience and expertise
in agri-finance, we are hoping to unlock the potential of investments in
agriculture sector as a critical point for driving economic growth in Kosovo,"
said Vahdet Anadolli, Chief Executive Officer of AFK. “We will continue
to develop our agri-lending to help our clients by providing customized
working capital and access to finance for different stakeholders along
sustainable supply chains.”
The initiative is being spearheaded by the
IFC Europe and Central Asia Agri-Finance Project, which receives support
from the Austrian Ministry of Finance and the Hungarian Export-Import Bank.
“Agriculture is a major employer throughout
the world, especially in rural parts of developing countries,” said Leah
Soroka, IFC's Europe and Central Asia Agri-Finance Program Manager. “But
a key challenge for the majority of these farmers is access to finance.
IFC supports financial institutions as intermediaries, allowing them to
reach out to a growing number of small-hold farmers, supporting innovations
in the sector and spurring job creation.”
The IFC ECA Agri-Finance Project aims to
increase access to finance for the agricultural sector in Ukraine, Central
Asia, Azerbaijan, and the Western Balkans.
Kosovo became a member and shareholder of
IFC in 2009. Since then, IFC has invested and mobilized $391 million in
the country through five projects in a variety of sectors. IFC has also
supported trade flows of $4.8 million through its trade finance program.
IFC’s advisory services in Kosovo aim to improve the investment climate,
support private sector companies, and attract private sector participation
in the development of infrastructure projects.
For more information about AFK, please
About Austrian Ministry of Finance
The ministry's external economic program
supports the development and transition process in Southeast and East Europe.
The program aims at promoting sustainable investments to support economic
growth, create jobs, and improve the business environment. For more information,
About Hungarian Export-Import Bank and
the Hungarian Export Credit Insurance Company
Their objective is to serve Hungarian exporters
through the provision of effective financing and insurance facilities.
Acting as a tool for providing economic and policy incentives, their mission
is to support Hungarian exporting enterprises in facilitating the retention
of jobs, growing employment, and expanding Hungary’s export capacities.
For more information, visit: http://exim.hu/
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