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EBRD in a loan to printing company in Turkmenistan

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo

The EBRD is supporting the private sector in Turkmenistan with a senior loan of US$ 600,000 to a printing services company, Intek Media, for a technological upgrade.

Based in the capital Ashgabat, Intek Media offers a range of printing services and has a share of about 5 per cent of the printing market in the country. The company plans to become the first among its competitors to purchase digital offset printing equipment, which will allow it to radically speed up the printing process and take smaller orders.

Intek Media is one of three companies within the Intek Group of Companies which deals in printing and integrated IT services businesses. The other two companies serve as guarantors of this senior loan; the whole Intek Group is financing over half of the total cost of the technological upgrade. The group provides jobs for over 100 people.

"One of the crucial tasks in Turkmenistan, which is still at the beginning of its path towards democracy and market economy, is the modernisation of industry and expansion of the private sector. With its investment into a small private printing company which is actively competing in the market, the EBRD is underlining its support for medium and small business in the economy which remains heavily state-dominated," said Masaru Honma, the EBRD director for Central Asia.

"The EBRD loan will help us to finance acquisition of a new printing machine to be used for offset printing. This equipment, the first of its type in Turkmenistan, will allow Intek Media to increase the speed and quality of its printing services, and to satisfy the continuously increasing demand of its customers. The addition of this new digital offset equipment to our existing production assets will allow our company to offer very competitive services at very competitive prices in our growing printing market of Turkmenistan," said  Yagshygeldy Esenov, the director of Intek Media.

Turkmenistan is one of the EBRD's Early Transition Countries (ETC), and is still facing many challenges on its way towards open market-oriented economy. Turkmenistan's government has adopted a strategy of support for SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises).

Since the beginning of its operations in Turkmenistan, the EBRD has invested over US$ 200 million in over 30 projects, mobilising additional investment of US$ 600 million. Almost all of this investment has been in the private sector.

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