By Nigar Abbasova
Azerbaijan Credit Union Association sees expansion of credit unions as a tool to eliminate the deficit of credit resources observed in the country, President of the Association Jalil Suleymanov told Trend.
“We have already appealed to the government with a request to promote expansion of credit unions network. Activization of crediting in the sphere of agriculture over the past two years worked in our favor, as we have been engaged in the matter for the past 10 years. The government pays a big attention to the development of agricultural sphere, therefore it is reasonable to expand the network. Credit unions are widely used in most of the countries, particularly in Turkey,” he said.
Suleymenov mentioned that more than 100 credit unions are registered in the country, while some 70 of them are members of the Association. He said that the exchange rate fluctuations of the national currency (the manat) against the USD have not significantly influenced the activity of credit unions.
“We have organized our work with the currency so that fluctuations in the manat rate against the USD do not affect activity of credit unions. Our resources have reduced as a result of instability in the global economic market. Nevertheless, we have managed to overcome difficulties due to financing provided by the economy and agriculture ministries,” he added.
The National Fund for Entrepreneurship Support and Agriculture Ministry issued credits worth more than 2 million manats ($ 1.22 million), when credit unions of the country faced certain financial problems early this year.
The head of the Association also said that main customers of credit unions are small and medium entrepreneurs.
“Small and medium entrepreneurs are facing certain problems when getting credits in large banks. We are providing guarantor credits as customers are not able to afford a pledge required in banks. We are trying to solve problems of our customers by finding compromise solutions; therefore the volume of our troubled loans is not high. Each credit union operating in the regions of the country is aware of entrepreneurs and their paying capacity, which in turn plays a huge role in problem-solving,” he said.
Nigar Abbasova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @nigyar_abbasova
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