SMEs a priority of new EBRD strategy for Kyrgyz Republic

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo
@pyrkalo

EBRD approves the country strate for Kyrgyz Republic

EBRD shareholders approve new strategic priorities in the country: cross-border links, SME growth and competitiveness, sustainable public utilities
 
The Board of Directors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has approved a new strategy for the Bank’s activities in the Kyrgyz Republic which will guide EBRD investment and policy dialogue there in the next four years.
 
The strategy sets out the following priorities for the organisation’s work in the country.
  • Strengthening regional cross-border links: the Bank will facilitate economic and trade cooperation and integration with other countries in the region.
  • Enabling small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to grow and bolster their competitiveness: the Bank will encourage the sustainable growth of SMEs – especially those small businesses with potential to become mid-sized corporates – through both investment and advisory services. It will continue to improve access to finance for SMEs, particularly in local currency, and to back energy efficiency projects through dedicated credit lines.
  • Promoting the sustainability of public utilities through commercialisation and private sector participation: the Bank will continue to offer its recognised expertise and delivery models to municipal utilities and to support private sector participation and the modernisation of assets.
 
The EBRD will also aim to reduce regional economic disparities and address inclusion gaps in relation to gender and youth across all sectors.
 
The previous strategy for the Kyrgyz Republic was approved in September 2011. Since then, the EBRD has increased its support for the country’s economy, investing €207 million in 56 projects. It has directed investments and technical assistance to local private SMEs involved in agribusiness, manufacturing, trade, tourism and logistics; provided liquidity to banks and microfinance institutions and strengthened their capacity; helped to rehabilitate critical infrastructure; and improved basic service delivery across entire country.
 
In total, since beginning its operations in the country in 1992, the Bank has invested about €570 million in the Kyrgyz economy. Almost three-quarters of the Bank’s current investment in the country is aimed at supporting sustainable energy, either through cleaner energy generation or through energy efficiency improvements for businesses and households.