IFC Helps Uzbekistan Develop Credit Database and Expand Access to Finance

November 30, 2010

Tashkent, Uzbekistan, November 30, 2010—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, the Central Bank of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and the Institute of Forecasting and Macroeconomic Research are partnering to develop the credit information-sharing system in Uzbekistan and expand access to finance for entrepreneurs and smaller businesses.

The three institutions today organized a seminar in Tashkent to discuss the benefits of an effective credit information-sharing system and the way to proceed. The seminar drew some 40 representatives from ministries, state agencies, banks, and credit unions.

“An effective credit information-sharing system is key to increasing access to finance for small enterprises. Credit information sharing enables faster processing of credit applications, interest rates, and collateral requirements,” said Galina Saidova, First Deputy Minister of Economy of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Representatives from the National Institute of Credit Information of the Central Bank and Interbank Credit Bureau, under the Uzbekistan Banking Association, presented reports on existing credit-sharing infrastructure in the country. Tony Lythgoe, Head of IFC Global Credit Bureau Program, shared international experience in the field and made specific recommendations for Uzbekistan.

Takuya Kamata, World Bank Country Manager in Uzbekistan, said, “Developing financial infrastructure, improving the private sector, and diversification of economic activity in the country is a priority for the World Bank Group in Uzbekistan.”

The financial sector is key to the growth of the real sector in Uzbekistan. As of October 1, 2010, the aggregate amount of bank loans in the basic sectors of the economy stood at about $7 billion, and loans to small businesses and entrepreneurs stood at $1.3 billion and need to be improved.

Since December 2009, IFC, in partnership with the Swiss government, has been implementing a project to strengthen the financial infrastructure in Uzbekistan. One of the main goals of this project is to develop a credit information sharing system and thereby improve access to finance for entrepreneurs and small enterprises in Uzbekistan.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010.

About SECO
The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs is the Swiss Confederation's competence center for all the core issues related to economic policy. Its aim is to create basic regulatory and economic policy conditions to enable business to flourish and benefit all. SECO also represents Switzerland in large multilateral trade organizations and international negotiations, and is involved in efforts to reduce poverty and help developing countries with transition economies build sustainable democratic societies and viable market economies. Each year, Switzerland spends about 1.9 billion Swiss francs on development cooperation and transition assistance to countries.

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