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Which benefits Uzbekistan to gain from Trade Facilitation Program of EBRD?

18 September 2019

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development's (EBRD) Trade Facilitation Program (TFP) promotes international trade to, from, and within the Uzbek Asaka Bank's countries of operations, including Uzbekistan, the representative of EBRD told Trend in an interview.

Recently Trend reported that EBRD offers new financing opportunities to domestic importers and exporters in Uzbekistan by opening a limit of up to $20 million under the EBRD's TFP to Asaka bank.

"Through the Program, the EBRD provides guarantees to international confirming banks, taking the political and commercial payment risk of international trade transactions undertaken by banks in these countries," the official noted.

The representative stated that the trade finance facility will help Asaka Bank support import and export transactions, further develop its correspondent banking services and strengthen its trade finance product range.

"Trade Facilitation Program will provide access to finance for Uzbek exporters and importers, including small and medium-sized enterprises, strengthen local capacity in compliance and advance trade finance skills," the official added.

It was stated that the focus will be to support private sector transactions and facilitate trade for the "green" technologies, materials and services.

"With 22 branches across Uzbekistan, Asaka bank will be well-placed to provide financial resources to domestic companies willing to expand their trade operations. This is the 7th Uzbek bank to join the Program," the official stressed.

The TFP is about regional and international integration and education. Following the reengagement with Uzbekistan in 2017, the EBRD TFP team has delivered 2 regional conferences and 6 training workshops, which were attended by approximately 500 domestic banking professionals.

"During 2019-2020 the EBRD will be working with the government of Uzbekistan to improve legislation and regulation in support of enhanced business environment for international trade finance products, including factoring and financial technologies," the official stated.

Considering future projects the representative noted that that can only be announced on the Bank's website 30 days before Board approval for private sector projects and 60 days for public sector projects.