The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) launched a new information campaign in the Kyrgyz Republic on Tuesday to promote the value of external advice for small and medium-sized enterprises.
First Vice President Phil Bennett delivered the opening address and spoke about the importance of know-how for the development of individual SMEs and the growth of the overall economy.
"Small and medium-sized businesses will be at the core of our new country strategy for the Kyrgyz Republic, as one of our key priorities," Bennett said ahead of the event. "The Bank is already deeply committed to SMEs in the Kyrgyz Republic, working to increase access to finance through local banks and microfinance institutions, and to help SMEs gain access to expert advice. Today's event will highlight our commitment to providing companies with know-how. Elsewhere, we are exploring new options to increase our SME lending."
The campaign will be launched in 25 countries, from Southern and Eastern Europe to North Africa, Russia and Central Asia.
"One of Switzerland's strategic priorities for the development of the private sector is to enhance the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises," Rene Holenstein, the ambassador of Switzerland to the Kyrgyz Republic, said. "The EBRD's advisory program in Kyrgyzstan is a key program of the Swiss Private Sector Development portfolio."
The EBRD has been helping SMEs in the Kyrgyz Republic access external advice since 2005 with financial assistance from Switzerland, Japan and the U.S. as well as the EBRD's Shareholder Special Fund.
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