The Asian Development Bank (ADB) intends to support the development of non-cash payments in Azerbaijan, ADB Executive Director Anthony Baker said during his visit to Azerbaijan, Vergiler newspaper of the Azerbaijani Taxes Ministry said.
"ADB's strategy of development in Azerbaijan for 2014-2018 years, which was agreed with the government, envisages conducting various stimulating measures for the expansion of Azerbaijani banks' possibilities to access the consumer market through microfinance. This will give stimulus to the development of non-cash payments," Baker said.
According to the ADB Executive Director, the strategy is based on a long-term experience of close cooperation between parties and reflects approaches based on modern economic criteria.
Noting that anti-corruption measures applied in the country in recent years and the creation of electronic government serve to reinforce the strength of the economic reforms and governance efficiency, Baker underscored that the cooperation between ADB and Azerbaijan will be continued in the next few years, on the principles of support of the non-oil sector and innovative projects.
He said the ADB experts believe that the creation of a cashless economy is a priority activity sphere in bank's strategy for 2014-2018.
Baker noted that, the ADB specialists familiarized with the basic provisions of state programs implemented in this sphere, and in the future a special attention will be paid to this sphere in the future cooperation with the banking sector of Azerbaijan.
ADB Executive Director expressed satisfaction with the current state and dynamic development of cashless payments market in Azerbaijan, and highly appreciated the well thought and systematic measures undertaken by the government and state structures in this sphere.
At present, the ADB has seven active projects in Azerbaijan. The current portfolio of the bank amounts to $990 million. Some 46 percent of the portfolio falls on transport sector, 16 percent - on energy sector, 36 percent - on city services, that is, the improvement of water supply, sewerage, and so on.
In 2012, the bank approved projects worth $250 million; all of them were in the state sector.
According to the updated business plan of the bank's operations in Azerbaijan for 2012-2014, the total amount of funding for ADB's approved projects in Azerbaijan in this period will be $575 million. Projects approved under the business plan, as expected, demanded $250 million in 2012. Some $155 million is expected to be demanded for the projects in 2013 and some $170 million in 2014.
From 2012 to 2014, the bank intends to allocate $155 million annually out of its ordinary capital resources.
In case of need, the possibilities of providing additional resources for funding and co-financing will be considered. The bank plans to allocate 3.25 million dollars within the technical assistance in 2012-2014.
Azerbaijan has been a member of the ADB since 1999.
The ADB was established in 1966 and has 67 members. The headquarters of the bank is located in the capital of the Philippines, Manila. Azerbaijan became a member of the Asian Development Bank on December 22, 1999. The country's participation share in the bank's capital is 0.5 per cent.
The ADB's leading shareholders are Japan and the US (31.2 per cent of the total share capital), India and China (12.8 percent), and Australia, South Korea and Canada (16 percent).