Over the past decade, Azerbaijan has made remarkable progress in reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity. Poverty has fallen from nearly half the population in the early 2000s to about five percent in 2013.
Only 20% of firms in Eastern Europe and Central Asia have female top managers. IFC’s Corporate Governance Program in ECA promotes the business case for good CG practices and emphasizes business benefits of gender diversity on boards.
IFC is launching a project to increase access to finance for micro entrepreneurs. The project will help MFIs introduce new products, strengthen their operations and promote responsible finance, to expand the economy and create jobs.
Azerbaijan became a member of IFC in 1995. Since then, as of June 30, 2015, IFC has invested more than $365 millionin 54 long-term finance projects in the financial services, infrastructure, and manufacturing sectors, and mobilized nearly $73 million from other lenders. IFC has also supported trade worth about $78 millionthrough its trade finance program. IFC has also implemented advisory projects aimed at creating a conducive environment for private sector growth.
The State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ), Azerbaijan’s sovereign wealth fund, has committed $350 million to three funds managed by the IFC Asset Management Company: the IFC Global Infrastructure Fund, which invests alongside IFC in equity and equity-related investments in the infrastructure sector in emerging markets; the IFC Catalyst Fund, which invests in funds that provide growth capital to companies developing innovative ways to address climate change in emerging markets; and the IFC African, Latin American, and Caribbean Fund, which invests alongside IFC in equity and equity-related investments across a range of sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Starting on July 1, 2014, IFC shifted from reporting its cumulative commitment volume as a sum of short-term trade finance and long-term finance to reporting only long-term commitments. Short-term finance is now reported as the average annual outstanding portfolio balance in a given fiscal year.
Total trade support is measured as all trade transactions in which the given country is either the country of import or the country of export.
IFC Strategy in Azerbaijan
IFC’s focus is on supporting the economic competitiveness agenda of the World Bank Group's Country Partnership Framework 2015-2020 for Azerbaijan, strengthening initiatives to increase access to finance for businesses and improve the business environment. IFC will also seek investment and advisory opportunities to support the real sector, including critical infrastructure projects, agriculture, and other export-oriented sectors.
Details of projects currently in progress can be found in IFC Disclosure. For completed projects see press releases below or visit the IFC Press Room.