IFC to continue to support Georgia’s banking sector
BAKU, Azerbaijan, March 28
By Tamilla Mammadova – Trend:
The Georgian banking sector is robust and well-capitalized, Vittorio Di Bello, International Finance Corporation's (IFC’s) Regional Head of Industry for Financial Institutions in Europe and Central Asia told Trend.
"However, one-third of small enterprises in Georgia still identify access to finance as their biggest obstacle, according to the World Bank Group’s Enterprise Surveys. With the majority of enterprises in Georgia being small and medium enterprises (SMEs), addressing this challenge is key to creating more job opportunities," he added.
According to Di Bello, this prompts IFC to continue supporting the banking sector and provide long-term financing targeted toward smaller businesses. This will be especially important for the speedy recovery.
As he noted, although the full impact of the COVID-19 outbreak remains uncertain, it is clear that with the pandemic affecting economies globally, the private sector in Georgia experienced financial distress.
"According to the World Bank Group’s Enterprise Surveys (click here) dated July 2020, around 70 percent of firms in Georgia experienced decreased liquidity or cash flow availability. Around 78 percent of firms experienced decreased monthly sales compared to the previous year," Di Bello said.
However, despite the unprecedented challenges, the crisis also offers opportunity — more than a quarter (27 percent) of enterprises in Georgia have launched or increased online business activity, he added.
"In sync with IFC’s development efforts, we will continue to support Georgia’s banking sector, thereby empowering smaller businesses to address the challenges and maintain jobs, ensuring a sustainable economic recovery and a resilient growth trajectory," Di Bello said.
Follow the author on Twitter: @Mila6197935