ADB to support Azerbaijan through $250m of loans

6 Dec 17

The Asian Development Bank will support the government of Azerbaijan in strengthening its public sector through $250m policy-based loans.

The government has intensified its efforts to find other sources of revenue since the country has been hit hard by a fall in oil prices.

Oil and gas revenues account for about 35% of the country’s gross domestic product, 60% of budget revenues and more than 90% of export revenues.

The Asian Development Bank’s board of directors approved the loans to help the government with reforms to improve governance in the public sector as well as diversify the economy through more private sector participation.

Sean O’Sullivan, director general of ADB’s Central and West Asia Department, said: “Azerbaijan’s comprehensive reform programme will help modernise its economy and promote inclusive growth in the medium to long-term.

“ADB’s support will help the country improve the efficiency of the public sector, while increasing access to finance and making it conductive for small businesses.”

The first phase of the reforms would introduce rules-based fiscal planning, improve governance of state-owned enterprises and encourage private sector participation.

As of this month, Azerbaijan has received $4.1bn in grants and loans since joining the ADB in 1998.

In May this year, ratings agency warned against a plan for Azerbaijan’s government to take on $2.3bn in debt from an ailing state-owned bank.

The development bank also approved a $45m loan to improve Uzbekistan’s healthcare last month, as well as a $300m loan and a $500,000 technical assistance grant to support the Philippines’ financial sector reforms.

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