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
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
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
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
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