ADB organizes regional workshop on risk management of SME lending

By Aynur Jafarova

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) organized a regional workshop on risk management of small and medium enterprise (SME) lending in Baku on July 1-4.

Some 37 participants representing banks and development funds of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan attended this workshop, ADB said on July 1.

Addressing the event ADB's Country Director to Azerbaijan Olly Norojono emphasized the importance of the SME sector and said sound risk management is crucial for sustainable SME lending.

SME sector is an important engine for economic growth and a key contributor for employment creation. It plays a critical role in achieving inclusive and sustainable growth.

However, growth of this sector is constrained by the lack of access to affordable financing.

For many developing Asian countries, the underserved and subsequently underdeveloped SME sectors represent missed opportunities for economic growth and poverty reduction.

ADB is committed to developing the SME sector by working with private sectors and government agencies to provide financial intermediary loans to banks for on-lending to SMEs.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration.

Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members - 48 from the region. In 2013, ADB assistance totaled $21 billion, including co-financing of $6.6 billion.