By Rashid Shirinov
Azerbaijan’s National Fund for Entrepreneurship Support (NFES) can expand the volume of concessional lending for 2018, the Fund’s Executive Director Shirzad Abdullayev told Trend on March 11.
Based on Azerbaijan’s state budget for 2018, it is planned to allocate soft loans of 170 million manats ($100 million) through NFES this year.
“We have additional financing resources. That is, we, for our part, can expand financing up to 200 million manats ($117 million) in 2018,” Abdullayev said, adding that everything depends on agreements between banks and entrepreneurs. The executive director noted that in case of necessity, the volume of concessional lending can be increased.
The National Fund for Entrepreneurship Support, created in 1992, issues loans to entrepreneurs through authorized banks and non-bank lenders. The main goal of NFES is to provide preferential loans from the state budget for small and medium business in order to develop entrepreneurship in the country.
During 2017, NFES allocated soft loans worth 146 million manats ($86 million). These loans were provided to about 1,953 business entities for the implementation of investment projects with a total cost of 635.6 million manats ($374 million).
As for the overall statistics, NFES granted as many as 34,600 entrepreneurs 2.1 billion soft loans for projects totaling 4.5 billion manats ($2.65 billion) during 1992-2017.
Allocation of soft loans is directed at countering the effect of the global economic crisis to the Azerbaijani economy and minimization of the country’s dependence on the oil sector by improving other industries throughout Azerbaijan. The country takes steps to diversify the national economy and provide for the development of the agricultural and other spheres.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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