Tashkent, Uzbekistan, January 10, 2012 – IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, extended its first trade credit line under the Global Trade Finance Program to Asaka Bank to promote the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises in Uzbekistan.
IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program (GTFP) supports trade in emerging markets by providing partial or full guarantees for individual trade transactions backed by IFC’s triple-A rating.
Asaka Bank is the second bank in Uzbekistan to sign up to the GTFP as an issuing bank. By joining the program, Asaka Bank, the country’s second largest bank, will be able to use its branch network, customer base and operational structure to expand access to trade finance for local small businesses that rely on exports or imports. Small businesses provide over two-thirds of the private sector jobs in Uzbekistan.
Georgina Baker, IFC Director for Short-Term Finance, said, “Support for emerging market exporters and importers is critical as major global banks face growing capital constraints. The global connections offered by IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program will enable Asaka Bank’s clients to expand their existing trade channels and access new markets. These opportunities will help SMEs in Uzbekistan to grow their businesses, thereby creating jobs and spurring economic growth.”
Since its inception in 2005, IFC’s award-winning GTFP has issued more than 10,000 guarantees totaling $14.3 billion to banks on trade-related payment obligations of its financial institution clients in emerging markets. Most significantly, in fiscal year 2011, 53 percent of the total volume was to support trade in the world’s poorest countries, and 79 percent went to SMEs. The program includes more than 200 partner banks in over 90 emerging-market countries.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion.