Providing access to finance for SMEs in the member-states of the International Investment Bank (IIB) is one the main focus of IIB’s activities. Hence the development of the “SME Support Program”, an important step for IIB to pursue its Development Strategy for 2013-2017 as well as its Country Strategy for 2013-2015. The strategic purpose of this program is to promote accessibility of credit resources for SME entities in segments that procure sustainable development of the IIB member states. As part of it strategy, IIB closely cooperates with the countries in Asia-Pacific, particularly two (2) of its member-states–Mongolia and Vietnam. The program supports sustainable development and poverty alleviation of these nations in particular and the Asia-Pacific region in general.
According to IIB framework agreements, financial intermediaries disburse funds received under the “SME Support Program” to local and medium-sized companies, giving priority to sustainable and social development projects. In implementing the Program, IIB applies a two-stage scheme of lending that involves financing of SMEs through a network of agents (financial intermediaries), commercial banks, leasing companies, etc., This scheme has been applied in Mongolia and Vietnam as the SME sector plays a vital role in growth and development of these nations. According to the Bank’s monitoring data, more than 300 SME entities from these nations (final beneficiaries) have already received financing from the IIB’s partners under the SME Support Program.
The SME sector has been the priority of all IIB member states as this sector is considered to be a catalyst of economic growth, innovations, and progress. In line with this, IIB considers to further intensify its SME support loan operations in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
IIB’s ‘SME Support Program’ was given a Merit Award in the 2015 ADFIAP Outstanding Development Project) under the Financial Inclusion category.