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IFC, Uzbekistan Host Conference to Help Small Businesses

Tashkent, Uzbekistan, March 7, 2013 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is co-hosting a conference designed to help strengthen Uzbekistan’s financial sector and make it easier for small businesses to secure loans.
The event, being held today in partnership with the Uzbek Parliament and the Central Bank of the Republic of Uzbekistan, aims to support a government effort to bolster the laws surrounding collateral registries and secured transaction systems. Both are an important part of Uzbekistan’s financial infrastructure and can help small businesses access the financing they need to grow and create jobs.
“A well-organized secured transaction system plays a significant role in the well-being and further development of small businesses in Uzbekistan,” said Bahtiyor Yakubov, Vice-Speaker of the Legislative Chamber of the Uzbek Parliament.
Today, about 80 percent of bank lending in Uzbekistan is guaranteed by immovable assets, like real estate, something that many small businesses do not have. Collateral registries allow firms to use other assets, like accounts receivable and equipment, to secure loans.
“IFC will continue supporting reforms of secured transaction systems in Uzbekistan in accordance with the best international practices,” said Arif Nasibov, IFC Project Officer in Uzbekistan. “This will further economic growth and expand access to finance for small businesses.”
The event brought together around 150 representatives from the Uzbek Parliament, government ministries, and state agencies.
The initiative is part of IFC’s Azerbaijan and Central Asia Financial Infrastructure Project, which is implemented in partnership with Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). It aims to strengthen the financial infrastructure in Uzbekistan by developing secured transaction systems.  
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit .
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About SECO
Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) is the federal government center of expertise on all significant issues related to economic policy. Its main task is to ensure sustainable economic growth by regulating economic policy. SECO is involved in the provision of measures of support for reforms in macroeconomic policy, infrastructure programs, and projects on trade and investment promotion. For additional information, please visit: .