ASHGABAT (TCA) — Scores of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Turkmenistan will benefit from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Advice for Small Businesses programme, funded by the European Union, the Bank said on November 14.
The initiative is part of an effort to help develop the private sector in Turkmenistan and diversify the economy. Advice for Small Businesses will focus on upgrading the skills and practices of SMEs through local and international advice, leveraging EBRD investments with support and training for employees, suppliers and value chains.
Local small businesses face numerous challenges, including difficulties in accessing adequate finance. By improving their standards in a wide range of business areas, such as financial skills, marketing and project management, the companies involved in the programme will gain confidence and the know-how they need to grow and increase competitiveness.
The programme also aims at strengthening the local consultancy market by providing training to Turkmen business consultants.
In close coordination with EU Technical Vocational Education and Training Institutions (TVET) institutions, the programme will also disseminate best practices in key sectors such as agribusiness, construction, transport, textiles, tourism as well as manufacturing and services. The EU is providing €5.34 million in support of the programme.
A grant signing ceremony was held in Beijing in the presence of the EBRD President, Sir Suma Chakrabarti, and the EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, during the Central Asian Investment Forum organized by the EBRD and the People‘s Bank of China on November 14.
To date, the EBRD has invested €262 million in Turkmenistan’s economy, with an overwhelming focus on supporting private entrepreneurship.