By Anton Usov
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is scaling up its support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Uzbekistan, where they create about 50 per cent of GDP and employ almost 80 per cent of the workforce.
A new loan of up to US$ 50 million to Bank Asaka, may be disbursed in three different currencies (US dollars, Euros and Uzbek soms) to cater needs of Bank Asaka. It will stimulate the business activity of small and medium-sized domestic companies affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The loan will be provided in two tranches of US$ 20 million and US$30 million respectively.
The EBRD funds will also contribute to the further commercialisation, greater efficiency and competitiveness of Bank Asaka paving the way for its eventual privatisation.
The EBRD launched two Solidarity Packages in response to the coronavirus pandemic and now expects to dedicate the entirety of its business investments of up to €21 billion in 2020-21 to overcoming the economic impact of the crisis.
To date, the EBRD has invested €1.8 billion through 81 projects in Uzbekistan’s economy.