IFC Helps Expand Access to Finance for Small Businesses in Tajikistan

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The FINANCIAL — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, with the support of the Government of Switzerland, is launching a state-of-the-art training program in Tajikistan that is designed to expand access to finance for local entrepreneurs. 

The program will provide training to appraisers from Tajikistan’s banks, allowing them to value collateral, like machinery and equipment, put forward by potential borrowers. That is especially important for smaller businesses, a major part of Tajikistan’s economy. While those firms have assets, they often lack readily accepted collateral, including land and buildings. Other assets such as machinery, equipment and receivables, which account for nearly half of firms’ capital stock, are rarely pledged to obtain bank financing. That’s partially because of underdeveloped asset valuation practices. Banks require qualified experts who can appraise not only the value of items, but also assess their riskiness, according to IFC.

“In Tajikistan, there is a need for diversifying collateral for loans,” said Jamoliddin Nuraliev, First Deputy Chairman of the National Bank of Tajikistan. “Accomplishing that will unlock significant financing for small and medium enterprises. We are very delighted by the introduction of such leading practices in Tajikistan.”

The program is the first of its kind in the country and is part of major reforms to Tajikistan’s secured transaction, or lending, system.

“Smaller businesses form the backbone of Tajikistan’s economy, but they often struggle to access the financing they need to grow,” said Rolf Behrndt, Practice Manager of the World Bank Group’s Finance and Markets Global Practice. “Broadening the capital base accepted by banks will help these firms secure vital loans and other forms of credit, allowing them to expand and create jobs.”

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Initiated in partnership with the National Bank of Tajikistan and the State Committee on Investment and Property Management, the program will train locally up to 150 appraisers every year. It will also facilitate the creation of professional appraisal institutes within financial institutions. Appraisers who pass an examination will be awarded certificates.  

The training and certification program was developed as part of the World Bank Group’s Financial Infrastructure Development project, which is being implemented in Tajikistan in partnership with the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs of Switzerland.

 

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