Major juice producer to invest into modern warehouse, improve efficiency
Fresh investments into the agribusiness sector mark a new phase of the EBRD’s engagement in Uzbekistan. The Bank is stepping up its efforts to support the country in its efforts to become a major agricultural producer in Central Asia.
A US$ 10 million loan by the EBRD to LLC JV Agromir Juice (Agromir), Uzbekistan’s leading juice manufacturer, will help introduce best industry standards and will send a positive signal for private sector investors interested in the country.
Up to US$ 5 million will be used for the construction of a modern warehouse equipped with an automated management system. It will help reduce losses and achieve better stock management as well as contribute to savings in production and logistics. The remaining US$ 5 million will be used by Agromir for working capital needs and the restructuring of its balance sheet.
EBRD First Vice President Phil Bennett said: “This is our first agribusiness project in the country for almost 10 years, exactly the time when we first started working with Agromir. It is very symbolic that our new engagement with Uzbekistan coincides with our re-engagement with the company. Our financing will not only improve its efficiency but also enhance its corporate governance standards.”
The EBRD is the largest institutional investor in Central Asia, with close to €11.6 billion (US$ 12.3 billion) committed to projects in a variety of sectors, from infrastructure to agriculture, with a focus on private sector development.
The Bank has invested €894 million in Uzbekistan; with a current portfolio of €8 million in the country.