IFC Divulges Plans On Expanding Operations in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, Baku, 4 April / corr. Trend I. Khalilova/ The International Finance Corporation (IFC) plans to expand its activities in Azerbaijan by increasing the volume of investments, said Declan Daff on 3 April, the vice-president of IFC for Europe and Central Asia who is paying two-day visit to Azerbaijan.

During 12 years of corporation with Azerbaijan, IFC has invested $263.95mln in financing 20 projects in Azerbaijan. Great majority of these resources (76%) were spent on oil and gas, 10% - on financial sector, 8% - on industry and 6%- on agribusiness.

"The Corporation finances almost all the areas of economy of the country, but we plan to expand our activities in the private sector as well," said Daff.

According to Daff, the key goal is to expand operations with the small and medium business. In addition, the Corporation considers the possibility of financing agricultural production and processing to support the supply network and infrastructure development. Moreover, IFC is prepared to attract credits from other international financial institutions. The Corporation already has such practice in Azerbaijan. The IFC invested $12mln in the project of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline construction and assisted in mobilizing $125mln from the other financial institutions.

IFC's Director for South Europe and Central Asia, Shahbaz Mavaddat, said that the IFC will be continuing supporting development of small and medium business via banking sector of the Country and by introducing new products.

"The IFC's co-operation plans also depend on the partners and economic situation in the Country. However, we consider that Azerbaijan has large economic potential," Mavaddat said.

The further strategy of activities of IFC in Azerbaijan includes supporting and strengthening of banking and various finance institutions. The Corporation has already offered its financial and technical support in mortgage lending in Azerbaijan, and development of the leasing sector is also of great importance for IFC.

At present, IFC has clients in Azerbaijan among the banks (AGBank, Rabitabank, UniBank, -Azerbaijan, Texnika Bank, Azerbaijan Micro-Finance Bank), businesses (ADA Group, Azerbaijan Electronikasi) and Azerbaijani Investment Company.

At present, IFC is a part of the capital of three banks, AGBank, Kochbank and Azerbaijan Micro-Finance Bank and is going to become a part of the capital of Bank Respublika.

The correspondent can be contacted at: [email protected]

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