EBRD pledges fresh funds to support SMEs in Kyrgyzstan

BISHKEK (TCA) — Loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Kyrgyz Republic will become more widely available to a greater number of domestic firms following the signing of a four-year Risk Sharing Facility (RSF) between the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Optima Bank of Kyrgyzstan.

The EBRD will share the risk of up to 50 per cent on individual loans made by Optima Bank to SMEs to a total amount of up to US$ 20 million. The RSF will help increase the size and tenor of loans, which will be available both in hard and domestic currencies, to businesses across the country, the EBRD said on May 22.

Borrowers under the RSF will also have the opportunity to benefit from various technical cooperation programmes, which will offer the best international expertise available in areas such as financial management, IT development and the optimisation of production and management processes.

To date, the EBRD has invested over US$ 825 million in the economy of the Kyrgyz Republic, with a majority of investments supporting private entrepreneurship.

EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti is visiting Kyrgyzstan on 21–24 May to meet the country’s President, Sooronbai Jeenbekov, and other senior Kyrgyz officials.

During the visit, Chakrabarti will participate in a number of high-profile events aimed at addressing the implications of climate change for the Kyrgyz Republic. These will include a specialised Water Forum and the launch of the Climate Finance Centre.

Sergey Kwan