Jingdong Hua, IFC’s Vice President and Treasurer, ended a two-day visit to Uzbekistan, where he met with private sector clients and discussed with Uzbek authorities, the Central Bank of Uzbekistan, and development partners how to scale up IFC’s engagements in the country. The meetings are part of an effort by IFC to support of the country’s economic transformation and stimulate foreign investments.
Hua said IFC will continue supporting Uzbekistan’s private sector through a combination of investment and advisory services to increase private sector participation in the economy, improve access to finance, strengthen the investment climate, promote public –private partnerships, and help create new markets for Uzbek products.
Hua also highlighted the importance of the development of capital markets and local currency. He discussed the development of IFC’s local currency lending program in the country. The program allows clients, especially those without hard currency revenues, to match the currency of their borrowings with the currency of their revenues, removing the foreign exchange risk from their balance sheets.
During the visit, Hua has signed a landmark swap agreement with Hamkorbank, the largest private bank in Uzbekistan, to expand local currency lending to micro, small and medium enterprises, key to driving economic growth in the country.
He also met with students from the University of World Economy and Diplomacy and delivered a lecture on the development of capital markets in emerging markets.
Uzbekistan became a member of IFC in 1993. Since 1996, IFC has invested $144.7 million, including $12 million of mobilized funds, to support 29 private sector projects in the financial, agribusiness, and food sectors.