EBRD and EU launch Regional Small Business Programme in Uzbekistan

TASHKENT (TCA) — Micro, small and medium-sized private businesses in Uzbekistan will now benefit from a new Regional Small Business Programme (RSBP) launched in Tashkent on March 1, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) reported.

The EU-funded and EBRD managed project is designed to transfer know-how in the field of micro, small and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) finance throughout Central Asia. The launch event in Tashkent was attended by senior representatives of the EU, the EBRD, the government of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Central Bank of Uzbekistan, international organisations and local financial institutions.

The RSPB will make a knowledge-sharing and -exchange platform accessible to financial institutions engaged in MSME finance in Uzbekistan. It will also help local financial intermediaries to get systematic digital access to the EBRD’s experience in this field. It is envisaged that eventually the digital platform will be transformed into an online learning system available to financial institutions in Central Asia on a wider basis. Furthermore, financial institutions from Uzbekistan will receive regular class room training on a variety of topics relevant for financial institutions in providing services to MSMEs.

MSMEs are particularly important for Uzbekistan as they are responsible for about 60 percent of GDP and employ almost 80 per cent of the able workforce in the country.

The RSPB is implemented by the German consulting company IPC (Internationale Projekt Consult GmbH), which has a proven track record of implementing similar initiatives in the region.

In Uzbekistan, a partner for the RSBP will be the Uzbekistan Banking Association (UBA).

Sergey Kwan