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World Bank Group, Tajikistan Partner to Improve Access to Financial Services

Dushanbe, Tajikistan, October 2, 2019— The World Bank Group is helping Tajikistan develop a national strategy that will make it easier for individuals and smaller businesses to access financial services, part of a larger effort to create jobs and stoke economic growth in the country.
Over the course of the next year, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will provide technical assistance to the National Bank of Tajikistan (NBT), helping it carry out an extensive, evidence-based consultation process that will result in a national financial inclusion strategy. The process will include discussions with the National Bank, ministries, governmental bodies, businesses, academics, and civil society organizations. In Tajikistan, where just 47 percent of adults have an account at a formal financial institution, expanding access to credit, savings accounts, and other financial services is considered key.
"You cannot have economic development without a sound, inclusive financial system," said Jamshed Nurmahmadzoda, Chairman of the National Bank of Tajikistan. "By developing a national financial inclusion strategy, we can improve the access to quality and innovative financial services that meets the specific needs of residents and businesses. In the long run this will help create economic opportunities and support growth."
The consultation process, officially launched on October 1 during a ceremony in Dushanbe, is part of a larger push by IFC to support the development of the private sector in Tajikistan.
"Limited financial inclusion is a constraint for any country to achieve its economic objectives,” said Sakshi Varma, IFC Senior Financial Sector Specialist. "A financial inclusion strategy allows a country to focus on these constraints, not only addressing access but also concentrating on usage and quality. This enables users to become part of the mainstream economy."
Tajikistan is one of 60 countries that have either launched or are developing a national strategy for financial inclusion. IFC's Central Asia Financial Inclusion Project will be supporting the strategy in partnership with the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs of Switzerland SECO.
“People’s increased access and use of financial services is key to economic and social development,” said Corrine Demenge, Deputy Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office in Tajikistan. “At the same time, the process of financial inclusion must go hand in hand with a strong and sound financial sector. Therefore, the Central Asia Financial Inclusion Program will support the dialogue between all concerned stakeholders to define the objectives and priorities of the new National Financial Inclusion Strategy.”
Supporting responsible and inclusive financial services is an important part of IFC’s strategy in Europe and Central Asia. IFC has worked to help businesses and individuals harness the benefits of financial services, focusing on payments, lending, and other financial services.
About SECO
SECO is Switzerland’s competence center for all core issues relating to economic policy. SECO’s economic development cooperation strives to achieve inclusive sustainable growth and poverty reduction. Its activities aim to create more and better jobs, to enhance trade and competitiveness, to support effective institutions and services and to foster climate resilient economies. Within its Cooperation Strategy for 2017-2021 Switzerland focuses on four sectors in Tajikistan: water, infrastructure and climate change; health; governance, institutions and decentralization; as well as employment and economic development. The overall goal of Swiss Cooperation in Tajikistan is peace and social cohesion, responsive and inclusive institutions, sustainable development and improving the population’s well-being. For more information, visit and .
About the World Bank Group
The World Bank Group is one of the world's largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It comprises five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), which together form the World Bank; the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Each institution plays a distinct role in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards for people in the developing world. For more information, please visit , , and .