Tashkent, Uzbekistan, April 4, 2011—Rachel Kyte, Vice President, Business Advisory Services of IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today concluded her first official visit to Uzbekistan by emphasizing that IFC will continue to invest and provide advisory services to develop the private sector development in Uzbekistan.
The first meeting was held in the Government of Uzbekistan to discuss opportunities to further expand bilateral cooperation in IFC Advisory Services, which already helps the government to create a financial markets infrastructure and implement public-private partnerships.
Ms. Kyte also met with management of Hamkor Bank, a long-term IFC client, to learn about conditions in the banking industry and to discuss the development impact of Advisory Services provided to the bank.
“Central Asia, including Uzbekistan, is one of IFC’s corporate priorities,” said Rachel Kyte, Vice President for Business Advisory Services. “We will continue to support development of the country through financial infrastructure improvement, inviting of private partners in infrastructure projects, as well as looking for opportunities for increasing of water efficiency in agriculture.”
Ms. Kyte also discussed further steps for cooperation with the Municipality of Tashkent to support the development of public-private partnerships in the municipal utilities sector. Currently, IFC is advising the government on the structuring of the first public-private partnership in Uzbekistan’s health sector.
IFC has been working for over a decade to help develop Uzbekistan’s private sector, with significant achievements to show. To date IFC has committed $77 million of its own funds and syndicated $12 million to support private sector development in Uzbekistan. IFC’s current financial markets portfolio includes equity investments in the first international leasing company, Uzbek Leasing. Moreover, IFC has a long-standing relationship with Hamkor Bank, one of the country’s leading private banks and provided it with loans, equity investment and advisory support.
IFC is also successfully implementing Advisory Services projects in Uzbekistan, with tremendous support of the government of Switzerland through the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs. From 2001 till 2010, IFC in partnership with the government of Switzerland provided advisory services in leasing, mortgage, investment climate, and microfinance development in Uzbekistan.
At present, IFC has focused on improvement of financial infrastructure, including development of credit information sharing system under Financial Market Infrastructure project, implemented in partnership with the government of Switzerland. Also, IFC strengthens its efforts in attracting of private companies for the design, construction, financing, equipping and managing of medical clinics in four regions of the country under implementation of health public private partnership project. Moreover, IFC sees a room for improvement of water efficiency in agriculture and currently working on pre-implementation stage in this sphere.
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.
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.