Azerbaijan's micro-finance sector needs new investment resources: USAID
Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 8 / Trend , N.Ismayilova/
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) will support the microfinance sector of Azerbaijan within the framework of two projects implemented on socio-economic development of the country's regions and development of competitiveness of private sector, said USAID Country Coordinator Scott Taylor.
"Under the program, implemented by USAID from 1992 to 2002, we invested more than $20 million in this sector by providing support to three organizations - CredAgro, FINCA and TBC Kredit," said Taylor.
He said the organizations that funded by the USAID are now sufficiently strong and financially independent in order to independently draw funds from foreign investors.
"Today, 14 non-bank credit organizations (NBCO) in the country serve over 160,000 customers in 61 countries of the region, where they have 90 branches. From 2003 to March 2009, the total portfolio of non-bank credit organizations in the country increased from $10 million to $171 million," said Taylor.
Credit institutions paid off over $6million taxes on profits to the Azerbaijani public budget.
According to Taylor, the country's microfinance sector is at a crossroads, as most of NBCO reached the maximum "radius", which is possible under the available resources. NBCO has been already supported by large loans from international institutions, and new investment resources are needed for further business expansion of these financial institutions.
This program is implemented by USAID in cooperation with the Government of Azerbaijan, and it does not include support for Baku, but only the development of the country's regions. Its realization will begin within six months.
A total of $4 million will be sent to implement the program and this amount will be equally divided between USAID and the Government of Azerbaijan.
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