Baku, Azerbaijan, April 18
By Anvar Mammadov - Trend:
Azerbaijan’s National Fund for Entrepreneurship Support (NFES) issued soft loans worth over 50 million manats to 135 entrepreneurs in the first quarter of 2018, NFES Director Executive Shirzad Abdullayev said at a press conference in Baku April 18.
He said these funds were allocated for implementation of projects worth 357 million manats. Their implementation will make it possible to create 5,145 new jobs, he added.
“Some 74 percent of this amount was issued in the Azerbaijani districts and 26 percent of loans were issued in Baku,” Abdullayev said. “Compared to the first quarter of 2017, the number of financed projects increased by 31 percent, their total cost grew 5.8 times, the amount of allocated loans increased 2.3 times, and the number of jobs created at their expense grew 12.4 times.”
He noted that since the beginning of the Fund’s activity, entrepreneurs received soft loans worth 2.1 billion manats.
“These funds were allocated to about 35,000 entrepreneurs for the implementation of projects worth 4.7 billion manats,” he added. “Up to 160,000 new jobs were created at the expense of these loans. Some 71 percent of soft loans were allocated for the development of agricultural sector, 29 percent of soft loans were allocated for the development of industry and other spheres. This is while 93 percent of the projects were financed through medium and small loans.”
He noted that in 2017, the NFES started financing investment projects at the expense of the funds returned.
“In general, more than half of the loans issued since the beginning of the Fund’s activity (53 percent, or 1.1 billion manats) were financed at the expense of the returned funds, and the rest amount of the loans were financed at the expense of the state budget,” Abdullayev said.
Abdullayev told Trend earlier that it is planned to allocate soft loans of 170 million manats through the NFES this year. However, the NFES can expand the volume of concessional lending for 2018.
(1.7 manats = $1 on April 18)