Regional Manager: IFC co-ops with Uzbekistan on planning of future projects

Regional Manager: IFC co-ops with Uzbekistan on planning of future projects

BAKU, Azerbaijan, May 26

By Ilkin Seyfaddini - Trend:

International Financial Corporation (IFC) is working with the government of Uzbekistan to plan future projects, Regional Manager for Central Asia of IFC Cassandra Colbert told Trend.

Colbert said that IFC is helping the government structure and tender a public-private partnership (PPP) to develop a 1,200-1,500 MW gas-fired power plant in the Syrdarya region. This is an important project for both IFC and Uzbekistan. This large-scale PPP will help modernize Uzbekistan's aging power infrastructure and supply both residents and businesses with steady electricity. It will also significantly increase efficiency of the use of gas, contributing to reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions. The new equipment will make the power sector more flexible, creating a better environment to introduce intermittent renewable-energy sources.

In March 2020, IFC together with the Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade, and the PPP (public-private partnerships) Development Agency organized an online investor conference, which brought together more than 100 participants - including investors, financial institutions, and other stakeholders - who were familiarized with the Syrdarya project’s scope and transaction structure, Uzbekistan’s power sector, and its PPP regulatory framework.

"The investor conference highlighted transparent and competitive tender process that we expect will attract interest from a number of market-leaders from across the world," she said.

Colbert said IFC is looking to invest in areas such as energy, manufacturing, services, and agribusiness. In the financial sector, we will continue to focus on financial institutions that lend and lease to support small and medium-sized enterprises.

"We are also helping the government establish and develop a strong pipeline of PPPs. There is great potential for PPPs in several sectors, including power and transport. Along with other international financial institutions, we are also supporting the government’s privatization programs in the banking and chemical sectors," she stated.

The International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global institution dedicated to supporting the private sector in emerging markets. The corporation works with more than two thousand private enterprises around the world. In fiscal year 2019, the company provided more than $19 billion in long-term funding to developing countries. In doing so, the corporation has attracted the strong potential of the private sector to eradicate extreme poverty and improve global prosperity.

Recently, IFC and Ipak Yuli Bank of Uzbekistan signed an agreement allowing the bank to better manage currency risks and increase local currency financing for small and medium-sized enterprises, which play a key role in the economic development of Uzbekistan.

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Follow author on Twitter: @seyfaddini

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