Press Releases

IFC-PEP Launches Leasing Expertise and Support Export Program (L.E.A.S.E. Program)

In St. Petersburg
Igor Gruzdev
Tel. +7 812 449 0868

In Moscow
Randal Petersen
Tel: +7 495 411 7555

Dina Nicholas
Tel: +7 495 411 7555

Svetlana Pletneva
Tel: +7 495 411 7555

IFC’s Private Enterprise Partnership for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (PEP) has launched a program to provide leasing expertise, training and consultations throughout all of IFC – the L.E.A.S.E. Program. The program is launched in response to growing demand for PEP leasing development expertise from both IFC headquarters and field operations. The objective of the L.E.A.S.E program is to provide regional facilities with access to PEP’s experience in designing and implementing successful leasing development projects, as well as to provide relevant training for IFC Business Development Officers and IFC investment department staff.

On May 13-19, to mark the launch of the program, the IFC-China Project Development Facility and PEP organized a study tour to Russia for a delegation from the National People’s Congress of China. The objective of the visit was to familiarize delegation members with the benefits of leasing and to show them IFC’s experience in designing and implementing leasing development projects first hand.

During the Chinese delegation’s visit, the L.E.A.S.E. program organized a training workshop that covered the key aspects of leasing transactions. Delegation members also met real leasing market players: representatives of leasing companies, lessees, and companies involved in evaluating the leasing market and its environment. The Chinese government officials discussed the major legislative issues related to leasing with their counterparts from the State Duma of the Russian Federation, who had been closely involved in drafting Russia’s key legislative act regulating the industry, the Law on Leasing, in cooperation with IFC.  

The head of the delegation, Mr. Guo Shuyan, remarked, “Of all the countries we have visited, Russia is closest to the country we are representing. This trip has increased our understanding of leasing as a market mechanism, and as a key input for development of industry and of economic growth. Our visit was fruitful, and I think mutually beneficial, and will hopefully lead to future cooperation and additional exchange of this and other successful experience.”

At the meeting with the Chinese delegation, Christian Grossmann, the Director of the Private Enterprise Partnership, noted the importance of leasing for the development of small and medium-sized businesses. He also stressed: “Through the successful development of leasing markets in Russia and other CIS countries, PEP has accumulated a wealth of experience which it has now started to offer to other technical assistance facilities in other regions.”

PEP has long been an IFC leader in delivering successful leasing development projects. PEP launched its first leasing project in Russia in 1997.  The project worked with government officials to push through vital changes to legislation such as the Tax and Civil Codes, and helped to stimulate the growth of the local leasing market by providing training and consultations on leasing to over 2,600 individuals and 2,100 companies. While the project was active, from 1997 to 2002, the number of leasing market participants grew from 137 to 550, and the value of leasing financing quadrupled to $1.7 billion in 2001.

Leasing has become one of PEP’s core technical assistance products, and the Russia Leasing Development project model has already been successfully replicated across the region, to countries such as Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and, most recently, Mongolia.

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