Azerbaijan: Economic development through small business support
On 22 March the European Investment Bank (EIB) granted a second loan of EUR 20 million to AccessBank to finance projects promoted by micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Azerbaijan, The FINANCIAL reports.
In particular, this project is expected to contribute to mitigating the effects of the current credit crisis and improving access to finance for businesses on favourable conditions, according to EU Neighbours East Info.
Heinz Olbers, Director of the Neighbouring Countries Department at the EIB, said: “Small and medium-sized enterprises provide an important share of employment in Azerbaijan. The funding will enable private sector players to modernise their businesses, create new jobs, and support economic and social development.”
The first EIB credit line of EUR 25 million which was granted to AccessBank in 2014 has been fully disbursed and successfully allocated to the local private sector, reaching out to 122 enterprises mainly in the wholesale and retail (61%), service (17%) and manufacturing (12%) sectors, as well as the agriculture, health and education sectors.
The EIB loan is in line with the priorities of EU cooperation with Azerbaijan for 2014-2020. The financing will promote more balanced and sustained economic development, focusing on micro and SME businesses, the development of rural areas and poverty reduction, as well as on the economy’s diversification from the oil and gas sectors.
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