The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is stepping up support for Azerbaijani companies as the country's economy faces the double challenge of the coronavirus outbreak and the global oil market shock, Trend reports referring to the bank.
EBRD has made available an emergency “solidarity package” of 1 billion euros for its existing clients across 38 economies, including clients in Azerbaijan.
Joining forces was the focus of a telephone call between Minister of Economy of Azerbaijan Mikayil Jabbarov and EBRD Managing Director for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus Matteo Patrone, EBRD Regional Director for the Caucasus Catarina Bjorlin Hansen, and the Bank’s Head of Azerbaijan Ivana Duarte.
EBRD officials pledged urgent financing to help local firms deal with the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
The government of Azerbaijan has already allocated 1 billion manat ($588.2 million) to finance measures to reduce the negative economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and Azerbaijani Economy Minister Mikayil Jabbarov has welcomed the EBRD’s continuous support.
Patrone praised the close cooperation between the EBRD and the government of Azerbaijan and reconfirmed the Bank’s strong commitment to supporting the country’s economy, especially in difficult times.
“Under the emergency program, the EBRD has set up a ‘resilience framework’ to provide financing for current EBRD clients with strong business fundamentals who are experiencing temporary credit difficulties,” Patrone added. “More generally, we are prepared to step up our efforts, together with the Azerbaijani authorities, to support the economy."
“In challenging times, the EBRD ramps up support for its clients and the economies where it invests,” Patrone said. “During a previous economic downturn, the Bank ensured a lifeline for Azerbaijan’s financial sector through the conversion of debt into equity and the recapitalization of key local lenders.”
As Azerbaijan faces new economic challenges, the EBRD’s support includes measures such as emergency liquidity, working capital and trade finance.
The EBRD is an important institutional investor in Azerbaijan. To date, the Bank has invested 3.3 billion euros through over 170 projects in the country. It also provides business advice to local small and medium-sized enterprises and has helped more than 1,000 firms to improve their performance and growth.
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