The microfinance sector in Central Asia has been growing steadily for years, providing access to finance for millions of poor people and small businesses. But the sector has also shown signs of overheating.
In Bishkek, the Kyrgyz Republic, Chingiz Makeshov owns a jewelry-making business that employs about 80 people. Over his eight years in business he has seen the number of government inspections fall sharply, and that’s a good thing.
Partnering with Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), IFC has over the past year helped the Kyrgyz government overhaul its business inspections system, significantly reducing the administrative burden and slashing costs
Since becoming a member of IFC in 1993, the Kyrgyz Republic has received commitments totaling more than $117.7 million from IFC’s own funds to finance 36 projects in the financial sector, including banking and microfinance, the mining sector, agribusiness, and pulp and paper sectors.
IFC Strategy in the Kyrgyz Republic
IFC’s key priority in the Kyrgyz Republic is to support the development and diversification of the private sector, contributing to the country’s greater competitiveness and improving employment opportunities. IFC aims to help improve corporate businesses practices, create an enabling environment for business, and increase access to finance for micro, small, and medium enterprises. IFC also seeks opportunities to increase direct investments in agribusiness and mining, while exploring more projects in renewable energy and energy efficiency, including public-private partnerships.
IFC advisory programs in the Kyrgyz Republic focus on: i) improving financial markets infrastructure, specifically credit information sharing systems and risk management education; (ii) the institutional and capacity building of financial intermediaries; (iii) microfinance and housing microfinance development; (iv) investment climate and tax administration; (v) improving corporate governance in local companies; (vi) increasing agri-financing, and (vii) designing public-private partnership projects, currently in health and power sectors.
As of June 30, 2014, IFC’s portfolio in the Kyrgyz Republic stands at $30.5 million, with investments in financial markets and manufacturing 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.