IFTC looks to attract more banks in Uzbekistan to support SMEs

Finance Materials 13 March 2020 12:28 (UTC +04:00)

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Mar. 13

By Ilkin Seyfaddini - Trend:

Uzbekistan's Real GDP is expected to grow to 5.4 - 5.7 percent per annum from 2020 through 2023, driven by public investment and spending, while SMEs will drive economic growth, said Marjorie Chapas, senior account manager for ITFC, told Trend in an interview.

As she said, economic reforms in Uzbekistan have played an important role for the country, as have the country's natural resources, which leave very good opportunities for investment and economic growth.

"Uzbekistan is rich in hydrocarbon resources, and about 60 percent of its territory possesses potential oil and gas reserves. Uzbekistan ranks third among the countries of the CIS and fifteenth in the world in terms of annual natural gas production," Chapas said.

Expert also noted that Uzbekistan has significant gold and cotton production with export capacity, which the ITFC believes has major export growth potential.

"The ITFC recognizes that Uzbekistan has significant potential for economic liberalization after many years of a rigidly state-controlled economy. Since 2016, economic and diplomatic relations between Uzbekistan and world powers – particularly Russia, China and the United States – have warmed as the country sought to boost foreign investment in Uzbekistan," Chapas said.

The expert noted that in 2020 Uzbekistan will focus on privatization, which will include state banks.

"ITFC is already working with five local banks in meeting the financial needs of SMEs in the country and total financing approved within the last 15 months is $38 million," said Marjorie Chapas.

According to Chapas, the International Islamic Trade Finance intends to continue to onboard new banks to boost their ability to support SMEs in Uzbekistan. This will be done through signing additional Line of Finance Agreements.


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